The Register Columnists

Lester Haines

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed

NASA firms up Space Launch System nanosat manifest

NASA has announced three more CubeSats which will travel on the first mission of the Space Launch System (SLS), slated for lift-off in 2018. A total of 13 CubeSat berths are available aboard Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), which is primarily intended to dispatch an Orion capsule "to a stable orbit beyond the moon to …
Lester Haines, 27 May 2016

ISS pump-up space podule refuses to engorge

NASA and Bigelow Aerospace earlier today scrubbed a first attempt to inflate the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) - the "human-rated expandable structure" which is clamped to the International Space Station (ISS) for a two-year test. After "several hours of attempts to introduce air into the module" by ISS crew member …
Lester Haines, 26 May 2016

Swedish old timer pulls airsoft gun on broadband salesman

A feisty Swedish sexagenarian earned herself an appearance before the beak for clearly demonstrating that she wasn't interested in fast fibre or pay TV by allegedly pulling what looked like a pistol on a hapless salesman. She has been arrested and charged with assault. According to the indictment, she admits to pointing an …
Lester Haines, 26 May 2016

UK eyes frikkin' Laser Directed Energy Weapon

The UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) is considering several contenders to supply a Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) for evaluation as part of a programme which could "ultimately could see the MOD fund a full-up programme to buy defensive laser weapon system". According to this report, companies …
Lester Haines, 26 May 2016
Venomous snake

Thai bloke battles jumbo python in toilet todger thriller

A Thai chap's "morning routine of a shower and protracted bowel movement" was rudely interrupted earlier this week when a 4-metre python clamped its laughing gear round his todger as he squatted over the throne. According to an eye-watering report by Khaosod English - (some pics quite possibly NSFW) - Atthaporn Boonmakchuay of …
Lester Haines, 25 May 2016

Hooves in spaaace: Goat Simulator goes galactic

Swedish games outfit Coffee Stain Studios has announced it's releasing a galactic expansion to its popular 2014 ram-'em-up Goat Simulator, which finally offered goat wannabes the chance to fulfil their caprine fantasies. Entitled Waste of Space, the expansion's premise is that players "get to beat or trick people into …
Lester Haines, 25 May 2016
BEAM at the ISS. Pic: Bigelow Aerospace

ISS 'nauts to inflate pump-up space podule

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will tomorrow pump up the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) - the "first human-rated expandable structure that may help inform the design of deep space habitats". The engorgement is expected to begin at 10:10 GMT (6:10 AM EDT), with NASA TV's live coverage kicking …
Lester Haines, 25 May 2016

US 5th graders have a pop at paper plane record

A bunch of US 5th graders* yesterday came close to breaking the Guinness World Record for the highest-altitude paper plane launch, which currently stands at a dizzying 35,043m. The pupils from Spring Grove Elementary in Illinois hit 34,586m (113,471ft) with their balloon-lofted vehicle, and later lamented that "another 100 to …
Lester Haines, 24 May 2016

Galileo satnav fleet grows an extra pair

Europe's home-grown Galileo satnav network is two orbiting operatives closer to a full constellation following the successful launch earlier today of satellites 13 and 14. The pair blasted off atop a Soyuz rocket from Kourou in French Guiana at 08:48 GMT, en route to joining their fellow Galileos at an altitude of 23,222km …
Lester Haines, 24 May 2016

Gillian Anderson: The next James Jane Bond?

Gillian Anderson has got a her fans all a-tizz down at Twitter with a hint that she might be prepared to fill Daniel Craig's shoes as 007. Gillian Anderson's Jane Bond tweet To secure the role, Anderson will have to beat off stiff competition from Idris Elba, Damian Lewis and Tom Hiddleston - all of whom are in the frame for …
Lester Haines, 24 May 2016

Asteroid-sampling spacecraft prepped for September launch

NASA's improbably acronmyed* "Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security – Regolith Explorer" (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft has arrived at Florida's Kennedy Space Center ahead of a September launch on an asteroid-sampling mission. OSIRIS-REx will travel to near-Earth asteroid Bennu, arriving in 2018, and …
Lester Haines, 24 May 2016

Blighty's Virgin Queen threatened with foreign abduction

Royal Museums Greenwich has launched an appeal to save for the nation a fine reminder of when England's dealings with Europe involved not referendums but hostile navies at the receiving end of righteous storm and cannon fire. The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I. Pic: Royal Museums Greenwich A reminder of the good old days ( …
Lester Haines, 23 May 2016

Galileo satnav fleet waxes orbital

Europe's home-grown Galileo satnav system will take another step towards a full constellation tomorrow when satellites 13 and 14 head heavenwards from Kourou in French Guiana. Galileos 13 and 14 during encapsulation. Pic: ESA / CNES / Arianespace – JM Guillon Galileos 13 and 14 during encapsulation at Kourou. Pic: ESA / CNES …
Lester Haines, 23 May 2016

Wayne Rooney razzles in X-Men: Apocalypse plug

It's Friday, and if you need a solid excuse to run screaming from your PC in search of a pint, look no further than this direful Manchester United plug for X-Men: Apocalypse: Anything for the team you say, @WayneRooney? Good luck! #XMenApocalypse https://t.co/ym1XtMansq — Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 20, 2016 Reaction …
Lester Haines, 20 May 2016

Hack probing poodle sacrifice cuffed for public crap

An Arizona TV journalist on assignment covering the alleged sacrifice and smoking of a family poodle was arrested earlier this week for allegedly dropping his pants and dumping a load in public. According to the Phoenix New Times, CBS 5's Jonathan Lowe is alleged to have been caught short in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear, …
Lester Haines, 20 May 2016

India roasts as mercury hits 51°C

Those readers with a tendency to wilt with rising temperatures are advised to steer clear of the Indian state of Rajasthan, where the mercury yesterday hit a blistering 51°C. The city of Phalodi broke India's previous record of 50.6°C, registered in 1956, during a heatwave which has seen the country's north and west suffer …
Lester Haines, 20 May 2016

NASA's stadium-sized sandwich bag overflies Oz

The NASA Super Pressure Balloon (SPB) which lifted off from New Zealand earlier this week is heading for the open Indian Ocean, having traversed the south of Australia. According to the handy tracking map, the mighty orb and its payload were earlier today travelling west at an altitude of 108,970ft (around 33,220m). The …
Lester Haines, 19 May 2016

Africa poses for 7,000 snap mosaic

Boffins have used 7,000 images from Europe's Sentinel-2A Earth-watching satellite to construct a fine mosaic of Africa, shown entirely cloud-free in all its continental glory. The Sentinel 2-A mosaic of Africa Clear skies over Africa Most of the images - totalling 32 TB of data - were snapped between December 2015 and …
Lester Haines, 19 May 2016

Smartmobes in spaaace: NASA deploys Android nanosats

NASA has deployed a couple of CubeSats using off-the-shelf smartphone tech which it hopes will "test out the potential for using a network of small, low-cost satellites to perform complex science missions". The "Nodes" nanosatellites were ejected from the International Space Station on 16 May, along with a further three …
Lester Haines, 18 May 2016

Vostochny cosmodrome caught on Soyuz rocketcam

Russian space agency Roscosmos has released an impressive rocketcam video shot from the Soyuz-2.1a which last month became the first mighty lifter to depart the country's new Vostochny cosmodrome. The edited highlights footage shows the rocket leaving the pad, the separation of two of its four liquid-fuelled boosters, then …
Lester Haines, 18 May 2016

Brit twitchers a-tizz at bearded vulture sighting

Brit birdwatchers are all a-tizz at the news that a bearded vulture has been spotted in Wales and Devon - the first time Gypaetus barbatus has set claw on UK soil. The bearded vulture, aka lammergeier or ossifrage, was spied on the Welsh side of the Second Severn Crossing last week, and then put in an appearance over Dartmoor …
Lester Haines, 17 May 2016

US schoolkids deploy Earth-watching CubeSat

The pupils of St Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, Virginia, watched yesterday as their diminutive STMSat-1 was ejected from the International Space Station (ISS), marking the first time an elementary school CubeSat has been deployed into space. St. Thomas More Cathedral School work on their CubeSat. Pic: NASA …
Lester Haines, 17 May 2016

NASA flashes cash at advanced aerospace concepts

NASA has announced the eight projects with "the potential to transform future aerospace missions" which will receive funding under Phase II of its NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program. The awards of up to $500,000 over two years will allow the recipients to advance their ideas, which "successfully demonstrated …
Lester Haines, 16 May 2016

Radiohead vid prompts Trumpton rumpus

Brit band Radiohead have got the good burghers of Middle England choking on their breakfast cereal with the video for single Burn the Witch, which reinvents an idyllic English village as a dark rural enclave of "paganism and sacrificial murder". A still from Burn The Witch, showing a pagan ritual Burn The Witch: Paganism and …
Lester Haines, 16 May 2016

'Knucklehead' Kansas bloke shoots self in foot

A Kansas high school graduation ceremony ended prematurely for two attendees yesterday when one shot himself in the foot with a concealed handgun, in the process seriously wounding another. According to local news outlet KWCH, the incident occurred just before 2pm yesterday at Augusta High School's outdoor stadium, when a man …
Lester Haines, 16 May 2016