Feeds

LOHAN is GO! Reg spaceplane BLASTS OFF on 14 September

Pocket ballocket to go ballistic - but where?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

We're absolutely delighted to announce that our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) spaceplane mission is cleared for blastoff on 14 September.

Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphicYes indeed, ballocket fans, the time is almost nigh to dispatch the Vulture 2 heavenwards towards its date with aeronautical destiny.

If all goes according to plan, the aircraft will ascend under our fantastical flying truss - lifted by a substantial helium-filled orb - and at a pre-determined altitude thunder into history thanks to a substantial solid-fuel rocket motor.

Then, the Vulture 2 will glide back to a designated landing site under autopilot control. Simple as that. For LOHAN newbies, there's a mission summary here explaining the whole thing.

On hand for the big event will be High Altitude Ballooning (HAB) head honcho Dave Akerman and rocket-botherer Paul Shackleton, although sadly Special Project Electronic Altitude Release System (SPEARS) control board chaps Neil Barnes and Anthony Stirk can't make it.

Nonetheless, they will be around for a second SPEARS test flight in July. As regular readers know, the first attempt to get the thing aloft ended in disappointment, the English Channel and the loss of our heroic Playmonaut, although not necessarily in that order.

Yes yes, we hear you cry, that's absolutely fascinating, but for the love of all that's holy, where's LOHAN happening?

Well, you may recognise the launch site:

Watch Video

That's right, we're going to be sending LOHAN up from the Peña Negra, in the Spanish province of Ávila, which was the departure point for our Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) Vulture 1 on its way to a Guinness World Record. For those of you with Google Earth, there's a .kmz of the spot here.

Marvellously, the powers that be in sunny Spain have given us the go-ahead for airborne spaceplane operations, and we can only applaud the Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea (State Air Security Agency) and Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (Spanish Airports and Air Navigation) for looking favourably on our application.

Naturally, there are conditions, because you really can't just be firing up spaceplane motors at high altitude willy-nilly. We'll bring you full details of those, as well as a complete run-down on the area of operations and landing site, in due course.

Once the team's flown in, the first possible launch date is Saturday 14 September. If conditions aren't right, we have another seven days to get aloft. Barring meteorological meltdown, we expect at least one day of ideal weather.

Before that, though, we've got plenty of work to do, including:

That should keep us off the streets for a while, and we'll report back shortly with updates and further requests for input from our beloved reader experts, without whom LOHAN would never have got off the ground. ®


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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
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
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.