Feeds

RETURN of the PLAYMONAUT: El Reg's space hero suits up again

Our intrepid ace test pilot hears siren call of LOHAN

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

We at the Special Projects Bureau are of the opinion that our heroic playmonaut - who guided the Vulture 1 spaceplane to Guinness World Record glory - has been a bit idle of late.

Our intrepid playmonaut in his new spacesuitBack in May, he jetted off to Blighty to assist in the design of the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Vulture 2, and that was pretty well the last we heard of him, except for a scandalous report of a dalliance with a Lindsay Lohan lookalike.

Well, earlier this week we ordered our errant pilot to collect a new spacesuit and fly back to the SPB's mountaintop headquarters ahead of an imminent and vital LOHAN mission.

As you can see, he cuts quite a dash in his new kit, which he's been putting through its paces to determine whether it's up to the rigours of audacious ballocket launches.

Given that our man is expected to survive an ascent to the stratosphere followed by a high-speed spaceplane launch and long glide back to terra firma, we made sure he and his suit got a good workout.

First up was the jaunt back to base in an aircraft on loan from Lockheed Martin, which was hassling us to check out its products since it found out we picked up a second-hand Apache attack chopper from Boeing:

Our playmonaut in an F-22 Raptor

The flight proved eventful - with the dramatic simultaneous failures of the F-22's pilot oxygen system and heated coffee cup holder - so the chequebook won't be coming out any time soon.

Back briefly on terra firma, our playmonaut was relieved to strap into a rather less risky form of transport...

Our playmonaut tries out a jetpack, watched by a circling vulture

...for a quick trip to the International Space Station, where he delivered NASA's recently-developed "Advanced Space Shovel"*, plus a nice cup of tea for thirsty spacewalkers**:

Our playmonaut at the ISS

The verdict on the new suit is that it works a treat. Just as well, because it's required for the aforementioned upcoming mission, the details of which we're not currently at liberty to disclose.

So, with our intrepid pilot physically and mentally prepared for the task ahead, we've decided to allow him some brief R&R, which he's spending in traditional fashion...

Our intrepid party playmonaut on a sofa, surrounded by blondes

...although he's at instant readiness for whatever arduous task awaits him. Watch this space. ®

Bootnotes

*Developed at a cost of $56.7m. The Russian equivalent cost 300 roubles (roughly $10) at Dmitry's Discount Hardware in Moscow.

**In the top left corner of the ISS photo you can see a massive explosion and shock wave radiating out from an unidentified mountain peak. We can assure you it's got absolutely nothing to do with an SPB secret laser weapon test.


Further LOHAN resources:

  • New to LOHAN? Try this mission summary for enlightenment.
  • You can find full LOHAN coverage right here.
  • Join the expert LOHAN debate down at Reg forums.
  • All the LOHAN and Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) vids live on YouTube.
  • For our SPB photo archive, proceed directly to Flickr.
  • We sometimes indulge in light consensual tweeting, as you can see here.

LOHAN - A Special Projects Bureau production in association with...

  • 3T RPD logo
  • University of Southampton logo
  • Applied Vacuum Engineering logo
  • Escher Technologies
  • Flashpoint Fireworks logo
  • HAB Supplies logo
  • Rock 7 logo

Paper Aircraft Released Into Space

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.