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Ahhh, SATISFACTION: Watch while we set a NAS on FIRE

A vendor has made the silly mistake of claiming its kit is fireproof, prompting a certain El Reg hack to ponder where he'd left his matches... The vendor in question is IOsafe, whose products have been reviewed on El Reg before. Last time, its single-disk unit survived being dunked in a well for far longer than originally …

Vulture 2 paintjob: Four-year-old nipper triumphs

It has been emotional, but we reckon we've finally got a Vulture 2 livery which satisfies all the requirements for a spaceplane paintjob. For those of you who've inexplicably missed all the excitement, we recently invited readers to suggest liveries for our beautiful vehicle, seen here in its raw state with Low Orbit Helium …
Lester Haines, 25 Oct 2013

Oz racehorse shod with 3D-printed titanium hoofwear

Oz boffins have used 3D printing to produce a custom-made set of titanium shoes for a Melbourne racehorse - an example of the "endless possibilities" of the technology. A team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) used a handheld scanner to image the horse's hooves, ran the result through …
Lester Haines, 24 Oct 2013

Vulture 2 paintjob: Kim Jong-un battles flag-waving Brits

It's hats off to all those Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) fans who took time to present proposed liveries for our Vulture 2 spaceplane. Following a first round of submissions, we asked stragglers to get their act together, and behold they did verily deploy the crayons. Here are the last suggestions, and for your …
Lester Haines, 24 Oct 2013
Picture by Afonso Lima

LOHAN's vital statistics splashed across fruity display

Our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission has just been served an extra slice of Raspberry Pi in the form of an all-singing, all-dancing balloon chase system. Hydrogen helium head honcho and electronics wrangler Dave Akerman decided haring around the countryside in pursuit of mighty orbs would be a whole lot easier …
Lester Haines, 22 Oct 2013
Gordan Ugarkovic's view of Saturn

Amateur image-wrangler reveals stitched snap of Saturn's splendour

An amateur image processor has stitched together raw images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft to produce a stunning image of Saturn, seen from above on 10 October. Gordan Ugarkovic's view of Saturn Gordan Ugarkovic constructed the view from "12 image footprints with red, blue and green filters from Cassini's imaging science …
Lester Haines, 18 Oct 2013

Reg reader's nipper takes felt pens to Vulture 2

We're progressing nicely towards selecting a lively livery for our Vulture 2 spaceplane, although following publication earlier this week of the first batch of reader suggestions, Stelios Zacharias got in touch to insist "my four-year-old can design better than that". The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) fan wrote: …
Lester Haines, 17 Oct 2013
Twente at Alice Springs

So you want to be a solar racer? You'll need a laptop and some string

World Solar Challenge On Sunday, Mark Winterbottom, Jamie Whincupp and Craig Lowndes stood on the podium after Australia's epic Bathurst 1000 race and waxed lyrical about the importance of their teams, and well they might: nobody driving against any kind of competition, whether race or challenge, goes far without their team. Out on the road, at the …

Reg readers rise to Vulture 2 paintjob challenge

Fans of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission have outdone themselves in offering suggestions as to just how we should paint our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane. Given that the world's first 3D-printed, rocket-powered vehicle is currently a bit lacking in the visibility department, as you can see from this …
Lester Haines, 14 Oct 2013
The finish line of the 2013 World Solar Challenge

Google peered through Glass during solar race

World Solar Challenge Vulture South is preparing a round-up of the 2013 World Solar Challenge and in the process something interesting has come up: Google. During the race, Solar Challenge officials whispered to Vulture South that they had an inkling Google observers were discretely talent-spotting as the caravan rolled on. At the Adelaide finish …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2013

Raspberry Picam magic: More snaps from LOHAN's fruity eye in the sky

Picture special A Sony factory in South Wales churned out its millionth Raspberry Pi this week, so we thought it would be a good moment to bring readers more from our "Pi In The Sky" camera rig, which has performed to spectacular effect during test flights for our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission. Click here for a bigger …
Lester Haines, 11 Oct 2013
Solar Team Eindhoven's Stella

Australian solar challengers lead two race classes

World Solar Challenge Four of Australia's five entries in the 2013 World Solar Challenge remain in contention after day five of racing, with two in contention for higher honours. The best-performing Australian car is that of Aurora Vehicle Association, which made it to Port Augusta last night and therefore leads the Adventure class. It's also ahead …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Oct 2013
Close-up of the new SunCat module

SOLAR SECRETS of WSC winner team Nuon

World Solar Challenge Although the World Solar Challenge is intended to be a challenge rather than a simple “race”, the quest to be first is one of the things that drives innovation. And, just as F1 gave the world disk brakes, some of the innovations helping to drive the World Solar Challenge will probably end up giving lessons and technologies to …
World Solar Challenge Route

Nuon on the brink of another World Solar Challenge win

World Solar Challenge The “Dutch oven”, Nuon Solar Team, is tantalisingly close to claiming Challenger-class line honours from its shadow since Darwin, Team Tokai from Japan. Passing the Atfinish of timing of the World Solar Challenge at 10:03 am Darwin time, at Angel Vale in Adelaide's suburban north, Nuon maintained its lead over Tokai. The …
Coober Pedy warning sign

Rumoured rain can't dampen sun-racers' spirits

World Solar Challenge Day five of racing in the 2013 World Solar Challenge will bring different challenges to participants. At the head of the field, leading teams will make it to the finish line today in the city of Adelaide, a cosmopolitan metropolis where they can expect to find any comfort they desire. At the rear of the field teams camped out …
Team BlueSky's flipped box

Canuck truck stuck in muck

World Solar Challenge The car-sized box containing tools and equipment for Canadian team Blue Sky Solar Racing's entrant in the World Solar Challenge today fell off its trailer and flipped over in the middle of the remote Australian desert. The Reg happened upon the scene not long after the accident, in which nobody was hurt, although team Blue Sky …
Michigan celebrate in Adelaide. Pic: World Solar Challenge

Australian teams burn up the road on solar car race

World Solar Challenge Video Four of Australia's five teams in the World Solar Challenge are still rolling towards Adelaide. Australia's leading contender is Team Arrow, which is now in seventh position among the Challenger class. The University of New South Wales' Sunswift is running second in the Cruiser class. Both spent last night somewhere south of …
Nuon Day Two

Nuon, Tokai maintain six-race rivalry

Day Two of the World Solar Challenge has ended with only a handful of the vehicles reaching the checkpoint at Ti Tree, north of Alice Springs. The leading vehicle remains Nuon from the Netherlands (1,340 km covered), followed by Tokai University (1,332 km) and Team Twente (1,295 km). Stanford and the University of Michigan round …
Team Nuon Day One

Dutch oven overcooked in World Solar Challenge

After a stellar start to the World Solar Challenge, the fancied Nuon team from Delft has had to cop a ten minute penalty for breaking speed limits, while Japan's Tokai University entrant has been given a more serious 30 minute penalty. The penalties will probably put Solar Team Twente (also from The Netherlands) in the lead at …
The University Malaysia Pahang team world solar challenge car

Wacky racers – The Reg's guide to 2013's Solar Challengers

World Solar Challenge The World Solar Challenge kicks off today, with 36 solely-solar-powered cars about to attempt a 3,000km journey across Australia from the northern city of Darwin to Adelaide in the south. The Reg is following the race – and making some odd side trips you'll learn about soon – but with the cars on the starting line we felt it …
Artist's rendering of Resolution in the Outback. Pic:  Cambridge University Eco Racing

Cambridge withdraws from World Solar Challenge

World Solar Challenge Cambridge University Eco Racing (CUER), Britain's sole entrant in the trans-continental World Solar Challenge starting tomorrow in Australia, has withdrawn its “Resolution” vehicle from the race. CUER entered the race with an innovative design featuring tilting solar panels, the better to catch the maximum amount of solar energy …
Artist's rendering of Resolution in the Outback. Pic:  Cambridge University Eco Racing

Unknown Aussie and Dutch family car spring solar surprise

World Solar Challenge Fancied teams have been shaded by dark horse entries at the time trial prologue to the 2013 World Solar Challenge. Professor John Storey, the event's Chief Scientist, told The Reg the USA's University of Michigan, Japan's Tokai University, Italy's Onda Solare and Sweden's Jönköping University as teams to watch. Yet None featured …

The Vulture 2: What paintjob should we put on our soaraway spaceplane?

Our Vulture 2 spaceplane has risen majestically from the powdered nylon, but there's one matter yet to be resolved before we get it in the air: what colour scheme best suits this magnificent aircraft? Here's our vehicle fully assembled, with Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator team members (from L-R) Dave Akerman, Rob Eastwood, …
Lester Haines, 4 Oct 2013

Sun-seeking Cambridge boffins chase Solar Challenge car crown

World Solar Challenge Next Sunday sees the starter's flag fall on the 2013 World Solar Challenge, and on the grid in Darwin will be Cambridge University Eco Racing's Resolution - a sleek carbon-fibre monocoque chassis solar-powered vehicle, featuring a "game-changing" solar tracking system. Artist's rendering of Resolution in the Outback. Pic: …
Lester Haines, 4 Oct 2013
The Kinder Surprise experiment pods in their lifting tray. Pic: SEA

Missing Brit SPACE HEDGEHOG RISES from the GRAVE

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 …
Lester Haines, 1 Oct 2013
The inside structure of the rear fuselage

Our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane: Intimate snaps

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is gearing up to get our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane airborne, and while we fiddle with servos and autopilots, we thought you might enjoy a few intimate snaps of the world's first 3D-printed, rocket-powered aircraft. Before we get down to to it, it's hats off once again …
Lester Haines, 30 Sep 2013
World Solar Challenge Route

All roads lead to Darwin ahead of solar challenge flag-fall

World Solar Challenge Australia's second Cruiser-class entry for the World Solar Challenge has joined the teams converging on Darwin for next weekend's start of the World Solar Challenge. TAFE SA's SolarSpirit 3 is the technical education body's third shot at the challenge, and its compliance with the Cruiser rule that there have to be at least three …
Top and bottom views of the RockBLOCK

LAST CHANCE to get yer cut-price Iridium satellite comms unit

Reader offer Before heading off to the pub for a well-deserved pint this fine Friday, we'd like to remind readers that you only have a few days left to get 10 per cent off a Rock Seven RockBLOCK Iridium satellite comms unit, as used by our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team, as part of its emergency abort system. Top and …
Lester Haines, 27 Sep 2013
Blofeld's white cat

LOHAN twangs BRASTRAP to unfetter mighty orbs

Pics+Vid Capping a hectic month for the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team - in which we revealed the magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane, rescued our heroic playmonaut from the side of a Spanish mountain and finally got a rocket motor igniter to go bang at 20,000m - we're delighted to report that the Big Red Abort Switch To …
Lester Haines, 27 Sep 2013

LOHAN rocket motor igniter goes pop at 20,000m

Pics+Vid Fans of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission will know that the issue of getting a rocket motor to fire at altitude has given our Vulture 2 spaceplane team plenty of sleepless nights. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic Last year, we constructed the Rocketry Experimental High Altitude …
Lester Haines, 26 Sep 2013
Dave Akerman's emergency cut-down box

Our LOHAN rocket ship team exits Spain with a bang

Pics+Vid It's been a hell of a couple of weeks at the Special Project Bureau's mountaintop headquarters, as we took delivery of our Vulture 2 spaceplane, welcomed the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team to sunny Spain and then spent a frantic 10 days putting things together, blowing stuff up and rescuing lost playmonauts …
Lester Haines, 23 Sep 2013
The components of our Vulture 2 laid out before assembly

Our sensational rocket ship Vulture 2 REVEALED: LIVE at 3pm

Cue the traditional fanfare of trumpets, because this afternoon at 3pm UK time, we'll be whipping the covers off our sensational Vulture 2 craft for the first time: so you can get an idea of just what the world's first 3D-printed, rocket-powered spaceplane looks like. Here's the beast in component form last week, straight out of …
Lester Haines, 20 Sep 2013

Live now: LOHAN igniter test flight

The Register's mighty Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is, as you read this, in the field preparing a second test flight of our Vulture 2 spaceplane's rocket motor igniter assembly, following Monday's dramatic first attempt which ended on a Spanish mountainside following premature balloon burst. Click here for a …
Lester Haines, 19 Sep 2013
The bare SPEARS PCB

Our second attempt to give LOHAN a good banging: Live tomorrow

The Register's mighty Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is gearing up for a second test flight of our Vulture 2 spaceplane's vital rocket motor igniter assembly, following Monday's dramatic first attempt which unfortunately ended on a Spanish mountainside without the essential test firing carried out. Click here …
Lester Haines, 18 Sep 2013
A view from the main payload GoPro

DRAMA at 75,000 FEET: Our Playmonaut's TERROR PLUNGE from EDGE of SPACE

Pics We're delighted to report that our plucky Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) playmonaut pilot is safe and well, following his dramatic rescue yesterday from a Spanish mountainside. What started as a routine test flight of the igniter for our Vulture 2 spaceplane's rocket motor, launched in perfect conditions southwest …
Lester Haines, 18 Sep 2013
The LOHAN team prepares to launch yesterday

LOHAN hero playmonaut STRANDED on Spanish mountain

Pic The Special Project Bureau's mountain rescue team has been mobilised today to recover our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) playmonaut – stranded since yesterday on the side of a Spanish mountain. What should have been a routine test flight to put our improved rocket motor igniter through its paces ended dramatically …
Lester Haines, 17 Sep 2013
ETS World Solar Challenge entry

North American teams land in Oz to race for the sun

World Solar Challenge Canada is about to dispatch its World Solar Challenge entry on its trip to Darwin, with the Ecole de Technologie Supérieure of Montréal – ÉTS – sending its tubular Eclipse 8 on its way. The Canadian team offers a stark contrast to the comforts of the Cruiser class, and even to most of the Challenger class cars. Its weight …
The LOHAN team poses with the Vulture 2

LOHAN test flight LIVE: All the launch action

As you read this, the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is preparing the test flight of our all-new custom rocket motor igniter. We need to know once and for all if we can get a rocket motor to ignite at altitude, following our first pop back in July. That ended with the igniter's E-Match going bang, but with the …
Lester Haines, 16 Sep 2013
Spain

Radioaficionados españoles: Echadnos una mano

Este lunes 16 de septiembre a las 2 de la tarde el equipo LOHAN (Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator) lanzará un globo meteorológico cerca de Piedrahita (Avila). Necesitamos la ayuda de los radioaficiondos españoles y portugueses para recibir señales de nuestros cuatro transmisores a bordo: CHAV (434.075MHz), BUZZ (434.200MHz …
Lester Haines, 16 Sep 2013
The LOHAN team poses with the Vulture 2

LOHAN Spanish team touches down... to prepare for lift-off

Our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team members touched down in Madrid last Thursday night, and after a few beers and some refreshing kip, were ready to pose for the camera before getting down to spaceplane business. The LOHAN team poses with the Vulture 2 Above (from left to right) we have Rob Eastwood, Claire …
Lester Haines, 16 Sep 2013
Paper Aircraft Released Into Space

LOHAN doomsday box dubbed BRASTRAP

The results of our reader poll are in, and we're delighted to report that our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) doomsday box will forthwith be officially known as the Big Red Abort Switch To Release Aerial Payload, aka BRASTRAP. Dave Akerman's emergency cut-down box So, it's congratulations to reader Steve Davis for …
Lester Haines, 12 Sep 2013
Team Arrow WSC vehicle

SolAce, Team Arrow inch towards Solar Challenge starting line

World Solar Challenge The University of Western Sydney will soon be heading north with its World Solar Challenge entrant, while in Queensland, Team Arrow is getting ready for a pre-race public run on the weekend of 14 September. The UWS team, SolAce, under construction since 2011, had its public launch on August 29 at the university's Parramatta …