Feeds

Missing Brit SPACE HEDGEHOG RISES from the GRAVE

Battered CASSiE miraculously found in Nottinghamshire field

High performance access to file storage

Pics The Brit space hedgehog which went missing back in March during a high-altitude ballooning mission has miraculously been recovered, battered and bruised but otherwise intact.

CASSiE (Cosmic Ambassador for Space Science and Engineering) took off from Frome in Somerset as part of the MARSBalloon project to send student experiment podules to the stratosphere.

MARSBalloon team members Michael Guest and Claire Parfitt show off Deimos and Phobos the night before launch

Two payloads - Deimos and Phobos - left the ground, but only Phobos was successfully recovered later the same day. Cue a frantic search for CASSiE, believed to have come down somewhere over Oxfordshire or Warwickshire.

In fact, the mission had ended in a field in Nottinghamshire, where on 22 September, farm worker Simon Jacklin ran over the errant payload with an agricultural mower.

A photo of the payload on the ground, somewhat damaged

A close shave. Pic: Simon Jacklin

Handily, the remains still had MARSBalloon lead engineer Andrew Bacon's phone number on them. Jacklin said: "I wasn't sure what I had found at first, but after I spoke to Andrew I was really glad I noticed it."

MARSBalloon team member Claire Parfitt, Simon Jacklin and Cassie rescuer Andrew Bacon

MARSBalloon team members Claire Parfitt and Andrew Bacon, with CASSiE rescuer Simon Jacklin (centre)

Bacon and Claire Parfitt rushed to the scene for an emotional reunion with a shaken CASSiE, although they didn't know just how shaken the space hedgehog was until they reviewed the onboard camera footage.

First up, the payload had immediately copped a soaking as it drifted towards Bristol.

Still from Cassie onboard camera showing launch in heavy rain

Nice weather for ducks, but not for hedgehogs

A dusting of snow then brought it almost back to Earth in Severn Beach, where it hit a fence and disgorged some of its podules.

Snow gathering on the payload over Bristol

Lovely weather over Bristol

The payload hits a fence in Severn Beach

Crash bang wallop in Severn Beach

Having accidentally shed weight, the payload rose again to continue through further inclement weather and down to its final destination.

The payload covered in snow

I'll call you back - I'm a bit snowed under. The last image from the onboard camera

MARSBalloon - organised by Brit engineering outfit SEA in collaboration with the UK Space Agency - is designed to give schoolkids and uni students the chance "to test how everyday objects will survive on Mars".

The average temperature on the Red Planet is reckoned to be around -55°C, so that's pretty similar to what CASSiE will have endured during the flight. Mercifully for future explorers, though, no fences have as yet been spotted on the Martian surface. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
Get your MOON GEAR: Auction to feature Space Race memorabilia
Keepsakes from early NASA, Soviet programs up for bids
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.