Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box

Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export

Amid all the LOHAN excitement over the last couple of weeks - which saw a right royal knees-up at Vulture Central, our audacious spaceplane mission crash-land on CNN and me apparently called "burly and bald" by Die Welt - we have actually been doing some real work ahead of our relocation to Spaceport America.

LOHAN regulars will be familiar with the substantial box in which the Vulture 2 will make its way to the US of A, seen here in its basic form...

The Vulture 2 in its packing case

...and on the scales while we determined just how substantial the thing actually is:

Kati with the box on the scales

Well, there was no way we were ever going to be allowed to simply sling that on a plane and dispatch it stateside, because once we'd added a bit of pine to the outside - to protect the edges and corners - we discovered we'd need to seek treatment according to International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15).

This requires that crates and the like hewn from or containing raw timber be heated to a minimum of 56°C for at least half an hour and then branded with hot iron to prove the absence of any critters which might menace foreign ecosystems.

Mercifully for us, the helpful chaps down at Advanced Pallet Systems Ltd agreed to bundle the box with a load of pallets...

The LOHAN bix with a huge pile of pallets

...and ISPM 15 the living daylights out of it in this monster:

The treatment kiln filled with pallets

The doors closing on the treatment kiln

Following some hot branding action...

The branded LOHAN box

...we're now good to ship, and lest customs operatives consider the above marks inadequate proof of a phytosanitary clean bill of health, we also have a certificate to prove the job's a good 'un.

Thanks very much to Advanced Pallet Systems' Andy and Dave for their cheerful assistance in helping us cross another item off the really long list of "things we have to do before hitting New Mexico". ®


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

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

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  • Space Graphic Solutions logo
  • 3D Robotics logo
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  • University of Southampton logo
  • Applied Vacuum Engineering logo
  • Escher Technologies
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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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