Beers all round as Vulture 2 lands in Blighty

LOHAN team, sponsors and press in Vulture Central knees-up

Pics The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team has just about recovered from a lively night last Friday at Vulture Central, which saw mission sponsors, Register hacks and a select group of our individual Kickstarter backers mix it up with the international press.

The spaceplane landed in Blighty a couple of weeks back ahead of the final trip to Spaceport America, and here it is getting a bit of attention from El Reg's Fenke Fros, who'll be travelling to New Mexico to film the documentary LOHAN: To The Stars And The Pub:

Fenke Fros films the Vulture 2 at Vulture Central

Since the Vulture 2 is currently sitting at our London offices, the terrifyingly efficient PR operatives acting on behalf of the main launch sponsors Exasol – home of the world's fastest analytical database – arranged a swift press call and wasted no time in assembling this fetching display...

The Vulture 2 displayed with Reg and Exasol banners

...which as you can see features some absolutely magnificent team flight suits and lab coats. Here's one of the suits being modelled by Yura - one of our Kickstarter backers who bravely opted to meet the LOHAN team and can be seen here with rocket motor wrangler Paul Shackleton:

Paul and Yura pose with the Vulture 2

Long-time Reg reader Yura works in Google's Android department in London, and was the first to claim a custom LOHAN tankard, lovingly hewn from the living glass by our old chum Chris Pyper of Space Graphics Solutions.

It's a tip of the hat to Chris for motoring down from up north to bring the tankards and an enormous consignment of LOHAN mugs, of which more in a minute.

Try this fetching snap of PR bodette Laurena McKenna and Exasol UK head honcho Guy Lipscombe posing with our rocket ship before the press rolled up on Friday...

Guy Lipscombe and Laurena McKenna pose with the Vulture 2

...and it turned into a bit of a marathon with Die Welt, then CNN...

CNN cameraman films the Vulture 2

...followed by the Russian and Japanese media cramming in...

Lester talking to a Russian film crew

...before a lull in the action allowed Chris, Laurena and her colleague Claire Williamson to stick some address labels on mugs, in the hands-on spirit of LOHAN:

Chris and the PR girls label some mugs

Later in the evening, we welcomed three more Kickstarter supporters to Vulture Central, who like Yura had arrived to wrap their laughing gear round some tankards:

Our Kickstarter backers pose with their tankards

Indeed, the beer flowed copiously and we're going to draw a veil over what proved to be a highly entertaining late night. We do have photos, but only one is suitable for exposure in a family publication such as The Register.

Here's Exasol chap Guy (right) mixing it up with fellow sponsors Lucidica (Thomas Jeffs on left, James Browning in centre) and Reg the vulture:

The chaps from Lucidica and Exasol pose with Reg the Vulture

Magnificent tomfoolery, and thanks to all those who rolled up. As a result of Claire and Laurena's top-notch work, we got a heads-up in The Mirror, a diminutive mention in Monday's print Sun, and this nice piece in phys.org, among other coverage. ®


The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator, sponsored by...

  • EXASOL logo
  • Pulse_Eight
  • SecQuest logo
  • Lucidica logo
  • NXT logo

...and with the invaluable support of...

  • Edge Research Laboratory logo
  • Space Graphic Solutions logo
  • 3D Robotics logo
  • 3T RPD logo
  • University of Southampton logo
  • Applied Vacuum Engineering logo
  • Escher Technologies
  • Flashpoint Fireworks logo
  • HAB Supplies logo
  • Rock 7 logo
  • Random Engineering logo

More from the lovely LOHAN:

  • You can find full LOHAN coverage right here.
  • If you're new to LOHAN, seek out our mission summary for enlightenment.
  • There are photos our our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane here, and detailed structural plans here.
  • For your further viewing pleasure, we have all our photographic material stored on Flickr.
  • Our LOHAN and Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) videos live on YouTube.
  • We sometimes indulge in light consensual tweeting, as you can see here.



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