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The Register breaking news

LOHAN is GO! Reg spaceplane BLASTS OFF on 14 September

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 graphic Yes indeed, ballocket fans, the time is almost nigh to dispatch the Vulture 2 heavenwards towards its date with aeronautical …
Lester Haines, 23 May 2013
The Register breaking news

LOHAN slips BRA over BOOBIES in ballocket backronym buffoonery

Our invitation to readers to come up with a snappy acronym/backronym for our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission's electronic control board appears to have awoken the sniggering schoolboy inside some of you. Special Projects Bureau tradition dictates that we have an entertaining moniker for our endeavours, hence …
Lester Haines, 09 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN hooks up with top-flight rocketeer

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is delighted to announce our audacious ballocket mission now has a top-flight rocketeer on board to handle the power plant for our Vulture 2 spaceplane. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic So, ladies and gentlemen, raise your glasses to welcome Paul …
Lester Haines, 15 Mar 2013

Watch LIVE tomorrow: LOHAN team attempts second pop at SPEARS

This afternoon, The Register's Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team will assemble in Blighty's Baikonur (aka Brightwalton, Berkshire) ahead of tomorrow's flight of the Special Project Electronic Altitude Release System (SPEARS) control board. Specifically, this is a test flight to check that the aforementioned …
Lester Haines, 12 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

LOHAN teases with quick flash of spaceplane

It's with a portentous drumroll and fanfare of trumpets that we reveal today the design of our Vulture 2 spaceplane - the rocket-powered vehicle at the centre of our audacious Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) ballocket mission. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic At the end of 2011, a heavyweight …
Lester Haines, 31 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

LOHAN's mighty orb launch live NOW

Today's Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) balloon launch is go, and you can follow the ground preparations in Berkshire live right now, right here - courtesy of the chaps at batc.tv There are full details on the mission team and payload here. To summarise, the primary objective is to see whether our Special Project …
Lester Haines, 01 Dec 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN serves up Raspberry Pi sensorgasmotry

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is battling away on several fronts ahead of next month's launch of the Vulture 2 spaceplane, and while there's still plenty of work to do, we do at least have the mission electronics fit for duty. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Our recent test flight of …
Lester Haines, 01 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

LOHAN cranks up old-school clockwork failsafe

We're obliged to Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) fans for answering our call for suggestions as to just how a back-up ignition system for our Vulture 2 spaceplane's rocket motor might work. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Our primary system is the Special Project Electronic Altitude Release …
Lester Haines, 27 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

LOHAN lifts lid on revised mission summary

Over the past few months, our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) spaceplane mission has been evolving with the help of you, our beloved reader experts. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic We've mulled various balloon configurations and launch platforms, checked out a possible rocket motor for the …
Lester Haines, 11 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN dives into Reg forums mosh pit

At the behest of reader Joeman, there's now a Reg forum open into which which you can throw your Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) comments and/or suggestions. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic We reckon this is a better place to slog it out than in comments on individual stories, because we find we …
Lester Haines, 12 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN must suck juice while mounted on rigid rod - but HOW?

Over the past couple of weeks, the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team has been chewing the fat with readers over just how to hook up the Vulture 2 spaceplane's rocket motor heater. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic There's more on the current state of play with the heater right here, and a …
Lester Haines, 04 Apr 2013

LOHAN straps on satellite comms capability

We're sure readers will offer the traditional El Reg welcome today to Rock Seven, which has climbed aboard the British space programme by providing an Iridium satellite comms capability for our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic The company's newly developed …
Lester Haines, 12 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN acquires mighty igniter arsenal

Our Rocketry Experimental High Altitude Barosimulator (REHAB) tests are back on track, following the arrival of the custom Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) igniters. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic As you're doubtless aware, our shed-built hypobaric rocket motor test rig has proved a bit of a …
Lester Haines, 24 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN chap to launch Raspberry Pi eye in the sky

High Altitude Ballooning (HAB) geezer Dave Akerman will tomorrow dispatch a Raspberry Pi camera into the stratosphere, promising live images from altitude as the diminutive snapper drifts from Blighty into European skies. Dave, who's head hydrogen handling honcho for our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission, …
Lester Haines, 12 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

LOHAN's fantastical flying truss sprouts tail

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team has been bogged down over the last few weeks in hypobaric rocket motor tests, but we've also been busy firming up the design for the Vulture 2 launch platform - our fantastical flying truss. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic It's been a while since we last …
Lester Haines, 09 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

Warming up the thruster that will ram LOHAN to glorious heights

Our audacious Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) spaceplane project continues to advance on multiple fronts, and while Neil Barnes and Anthony Stirk put together the Special Project Electronic Altitude Release System (SPEARS) control board, we've been doing some more work on the Vulture 2 rocket motor heater set-up. …
Lester Haines, 23 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN fabricates full-fat fantastical flying truss

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team has bounced back from the recent loss of our heroic playmonaut and the Special Project Electronic Altitude Release System (SPEARS) control board, and is busy advancing our audacious spaceplane project on various fronts. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic …
Lester Haines, 13 Dec 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN sets clock ticking for explosive climax

Work is proceeding apace on our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) "Swift" control board, as recently unveiled to an astounded world. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Anthony Stirk and Neil Barnes are beavering away at assembling the board and tackling the coding, respectively. Earlier this week …
Lester Haines, 23 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN starts to feel the barometric pressure

As the design of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Vulture 2 spaceplane continues apace, we've been considering just how to fire the aircraft's solid rocket motor at a predetermined altitude. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic We haven't yet revealed exactly which mighty unit will eventually …
Lester Haines, 17 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Heavenly SPEARS gives LOHAN a hot satisfying BANG

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team has been sifting the data from last weekend's successful test of the Special Project Electronic Altitude Release System (SPEARS) control board, and is delighted to report that it worked as advertised. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic SPEARS is designed to …
Lester Haines, 18 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

LOHAN slips into tight rubber outfit

Last week, the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team welcomed rocketeer Paul Shackleton aboard our audacious spaceplane mission. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Accordingly, it's an opportune moment to report on progress on the Vulture 2 motor heater, which will hopefully prevent the aircraft's …
Lester Haines, 20 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

LOHAN cooks up tempting Raspberry Pi spiced with Iridium

The electronics buffs among you should brace for explosive geekgasm, as the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team serves up a tasty dish of Iridium-spiced Raspberry Pi, with a tempting side dish of Python. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic You'll recall that back in September, our audacious …
Lester Haines, 28 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN turns up the heat on Vulture 2 motor

We know you lot like a nice bit of kit, so you'll certainly enjoy the latest piece of high-tech gadgetry to turn up at the SPB's mountaintop headquarters. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic As you know, we've been busy conducting experiments with the Rocketry Experimental High Altitude Barosimulator (REHAB) …
Lester Haines, 22 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN fans drawn to magnetic coupling

Earlier this week, we published results of some tests on the proposed heater for our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) rocket motor heater, designed to keep the Vulture 2 spaceplane's powerplant toasty at altitude. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic We also invited our tech-savvy ballocket mission …
Lester Haines, 22 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

LOHAN poses for sexy wide-angle vid

There's always a frisson of excitement when we take delivery of some new kit at the Special Project Bureau's mountaintop headquarters, and last week the bloke with the big white van drew up at the door to drop off the latest piece of Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) kit - a GoPro HD HERO2 camera. Click here for a …
Lester Haines, 05 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN gasps at stiff and slippery tube

We do like a bit of unboxing down here at the Special Projects Bureau, so there was a decided frisson this afternoon when we took delivery of a stiff and deliciously slippery tube. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) regulars will be aware of the ongoing debate about …
Lester Haines, 24 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN's flying truss: One orb or two?

The roll-out yesterday of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) fantastical flying truss prompted a flurry of comments from readers unimpressed with our twin-globe proposal. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic To recap, our cunning plan for the Vulture 2 spaceplane launch platform involves a …
Lester Haines, 21 Feb 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN sucks 27 inches

The epic saga of our shed-built hypobaric chamber – the Rocketry Experimental High Altitude Barosimulator (REHAB) experiment – continues today with the news that we've just laid our hands on a proper vacuum pump which allows LOHAN to suck an impressive 27 inches. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic REHAB …
Lester Haines, 24 May 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN to slip in sexy little black number

Our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) electronics team are rubbing their hands in anticipation of the imminent arrival of our spaceplane mission's PCB - a sexy black number lovingly crafted in the distant land of China. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Anthony Stirk and Neil Barnes have put in some …
Lester Haines, 13 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN lifts skirt on 3D printed parts

There are champagne corks popping today at Special Project Bureau headquarters as we announce we've cut a deal to have our Vulture 2 aircraft hewn from living nylon. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Followers of our audacious Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission will know that we've already …
Lester Haines, 10 Feb 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN checks into REHAB chamber

Hot on the heels of the first test of the improvised vacuum pump for our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Rocketry Experimental High Altitude Barosimulator (REHAB) experiment, we're pleased to report that we've put together the shed-built hypobaric chamber which will form the centrepiece of our explosive tomfoolery. …
Lester Haines, 03 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN Playmonaut jets off to Blighty

Our heroic Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Playmonaut has just jetted off to Blighty to join the Southampton University postgrads who are tackling the design of the Vulture 2 spaceplane. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic The veteran pilot, who soared to international fame with our Paper Aircraft …
Lester Haines, 10 May 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN flashes fantastical flying truss

It's taken us a while, and a not inconsiderable amount of head-scratching, but we've finally come up with a design for the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) launch platform. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Those of you who've been following LOHAN will recall the invitation to our beloved readers …
Lester Haines, 20 Feb 2012
The LOHAN team prepares for launch this morning

The Punch and Judy show is LIVE NOW cancelled

Update at 14:12: Today' flights have been cancelled due to high winds. Highly irritating, but that's the British weather for you. We'll let you know when we've formed an alternative plan. The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) "Punch" and "Judy" test flights are about to kick off - assuming the wind doesn't scupper …
Lester Haines, 05 Apr 2014
The Register breaking news

Lindsay Lohan ditches her surname

Bespeckled thespiatrix Lindsay Lohan has dealt a serious blow to the El Reg space paper plane bureau by announcing she's going to drop the "Lohan" and emerge as just "Lindsay". According to her mum Dina, there are two reasons for the rebrand: first up, loads of megacelebs like Oprah and Beyonce thrive on a first-name-only basis …
Lester Haines, 28 Mar 2011
An underside view of the board

LOHAN's cold heart beats beneath silicon breast

Our crack Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) electronics team has made some cracking progress over the past few weeks, putting together the beating heart that will control our audacious Vulture 2 spaceplane mission. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic A couple of months back, we decided to fire the …
Lester Haines, 06 Nov 2012

LOHAN breathes fire in REHAB

We're delighted – and somewhat relieved – to announce that last weekend we finally persuaded a solid rocket motor to fire at a simulated altitude of 76,500ft (23,300m). Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Followers of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission will need no introduction to the …
Lester Haines, 01 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN's fantastical flying truss takes to the air

We're pleased to report that last weekend the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) fantastical flying truss finally got off the ground, and we've got some video of the test for your viewing pleasure. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic The plan, as regular readers will recall, was to see just how a …
Lester Haines, 14 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN is heading towards REHAB

We know you lot do wonder just what's afoot down at the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) fabrication bunker, so we thought we've give you an update on progress on our garden-shed hypobaric chamber experiment. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic If you're a LOHAN newbie there's background info on the …
Lester Haines, 06 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN plugs into some hot LiPo treatment

We turned up the heat a little this week at the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) headquarters, with the first test of our space-grade Polyimide Thermofoil flexible heater, intended to keep the Vulture 2 spaceplane's rocket motor nice and toasty as it it ascends into the stratosphere. Click here for a bigger version …
Lester Haines, 05 Oct 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN seeks failsafe for explosive climax

As true patriots last weekend rolled out the bunting and unfurled a celebratory pint in honour of her Maj Queen Liz II's 60 years atop the throne of Merry Old Blighty™, we here at El Reg's Special Projects Bureau took a few moments from shouting "Gawd bless yer ma'am" to ponder matters of perhaps greater import, viz: just how to …
Lester Haines, 06 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Watch live! Crack LOHAN team to send SPEARS to stratosphere

Our report yesterday that the Special Projects Bureau had ordered its intrepid playmonaut back to base ahead of a vital Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission, led some of you to suspect that we were poised to wave off the Special Project Electronic Altitude Release System (SPEARS) control board on a high-altitude …
Lester Haines, 30 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN checks into REHAB

Following an emergency all-night sitting of the Special Projects Bureau Celebrity Backronym Perusal Soviet (the agreeably palindromic SPBCBPS, as it's known at Vulture Central), we can announce that our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) hypobaric rocket motor test chamber will henceforth be known as the Rocketry …
Lester Haines, 15 Sep 2011
The Register breaking news

Teflon slips smoothly over LOHAN's mighty rod

Our audacious Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project is advancing rapidly on multiple fronts, and as well as mission control boards and fantastical flying trusses, we've been able to dedicate some time to the icy issue of the controversial Vulture 2 launch rod. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic …
Lester Haines, 24 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

Pyrotechnic boffin poised to light LOHAN's fire

Cometh the hour, cometh the man, as the old saying goes, and we're delighted to report that a Reg reader has stepped forward to resolve the thorny problem of just how to get our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mighty thruster to fire at altitude. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic The first rocket …
Lester Haines, 18 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN's fantastical flying truss menaces kiddies

We at El Reg's Special Projects Bureau generally have little contact with the internet commentard mosh pit, where the bottom feeders vie for immortality in the pantheon of the obtuse. However, from time to time, we're obliged to confront the unwashed masses down at YouTube, which as readers will be aware is the Rwandan genocide …
Lester Haines, 19 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN's fantastical flying truss cleared for lift-off

Our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator experimental flying truss is just about poised for lift-off, but before it leaves the ground we thought we'd update LOHAN fans on the proposed test rigs. Apprentice boffin Katarina poses with the finished truss Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Our initial plan was …
Lester Haines, 23 Feb 2012
The Register breaking news

GPS trigger will light LOHAN's fire

There's been a veritable jetstream of activity at the SPB's mountaintop headquarters this week as our quest to find a method to fire our Vulture 2 spaceplane's solid rocket motor at altitude nears its end. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Followers of our audacious Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN …
Lester Haines, 17 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

Readers suggest LOHAN mount single mighty rod

We've enjoyed reading your comments over the past day regarding the possible launch system for our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Vulture 2 spaceplane. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Following a successful test of LOHAN's fantastical flying truss (see vid, below), we concluded that we'd go …
Lester Haines, 15 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

LOHAN demonstrates impressive sucking skills

This week really sucked down at the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) headquarters as we put the vacuum pump for our Rocketry Experimental High Altitude Barosimulator (REHAB) experiment through its paces. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Those of you unacquainted with REHAB should have a shufti …
Lester Haines, 30 Mar 2012