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back to article LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

The traditional portentous drumroll and fanfare of trumpets has added timpani and a throbbing bass synth crescendo today as we announce that the planned launch of our our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission has been relocated to New Mexico's Spaceport America. This shock news comes at the end of an epic struggle …

Mushroom

Ah the joys of an open market...

with just enough of 'la cinta roja' to scupper the best laid plans of mice, men and playmonauts!

At least the land of the free look likely to let you blow some stuff up in their bit of the upper atmosphere, and you can try some of the lovely craft beers whilst you're there, for research purposes of course!

Bring on the Merch and let's get this thing done. One credit card standing by.

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Re: Ah the joys of an open market...

Good man.

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Coat

Blimey, I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition...

Our five chief weapons are fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms—oh damn. And adherence to every nitwit protocol from Brussels, Madrid and Strasbourg.

I'll come in again...

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Re: Ah the joys of an open market...

... seems an opportunity lost for Spain to share in the sheer joy (not to mention scientific research) of the LOHAN effort...??? Oh well, New Mexico tends to be lovely this time of year, or at least in a few months from now... and then there is the craft beer aspect...

Yep, my credit card is ready... and yes I am a U.S. citizen FYSA!

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Sound similar to the way that French bureaucracy scuppered James May's plans to fly a "toy" glider across the English channel.

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Flame

**** the European badge

Why should you celebrate Europe if they can't ****ing well support you ?

I'll have a *US* patch, please. £20 ?

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Re: **** the European badge

A bit more than that - we're tin-rattling remember...

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Re: **** the European badge

Yeah because Spain is the entirety of Europe. The 'Merkin education system at its best, who needs geography when you can have creationism?

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Re: Re: **** the European badge

Alright chaps, let's pipe it down. LOHAN is an international operation, no matter where we launch, so let's have some spirit of solidarity, eh?

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Re: **** the European badge

Downvoted for failing to check if the poster was an American. And possibly missing a point.

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Re: **** the European badge

I bet there are people who'd pay to have the European map with Spain deleted from it. Although Portugal would have to get used to being an island.

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Holmes

Re: **** the European badge @Number6

Well being an island didn't do us (UK) any harm, then we had to dig the bloody chunnel and the rest is history (or the rewriting of it). Pah!

At lest in the US they will be allowed a decent powered vacuum cleaner to collect the pieces if Lohan has the miss fortune to do a Beagle. Soon we won't be able to buy anything with more suck than an old smoker (mea culpa) after 10 cough 5 flights of stairs by Brussels diktat. Pah again!

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Re: **** the European badge

Isn't the point of Europe that you can't have little local laws (like only French cars being allowed in France) anymore ?

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Re: **** the European badge

No, you can have as many pointless obstructive little local laws as you like, that's called subsidiarity. It's only the big, important, laws that are made by Brusselbourg, because obviously the provincials can't be trusted with them. Divide and Conquer, it's a very old principle.

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Daft Government

Governments worldwide are daft with regulation. Even in Australia if I wanted to make rcandy propellant (Potassium nitrate + Sugar) I too would need a commercial licence to manufacture explosives, which is odd given that mix just burns vigorously and doesn't actually explode.

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Mushroom

Re: Daft Government

Try burning it inside a sealed container.

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Re: Daft Government

I have had a test motor over pressurize and blow the nozzle out the end. Very loud. While I do agree in the wrong hands you could do some damage, it doesn't warrant the restrictions placed on it.

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Paris Hilton

A dead country, dreaming of galactic empires to come.

"SPACEPORT AMURRICA", shurely?

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Mushroom

Sekret "berkshire-nor" facility

I presume it was the EU bit that scuppered using your Berkshirenor proving ground as a final launch facility then?

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Re: Sekret "berkshire-nor" facility

We could never do the launch in Blighty. The site was ambitiously renamed "Baconur", but the only thing sizzling was the sliced pork.

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Re: Sekret "berkshire-nor" facility

I'm curious as to why no launch in blighty?

I've seen rocket launches happen on our shores (top gear for one memorable launch), and I know we can launch high altitude balloons..

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Re: Sekret "berkshire-nor" facility

Probably because in comparison to the magic attractive forces of trees, the sea has a pull hundreds of times more. Such is its power that it can alter the winds high aloft so as to suck its victims in.

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Re: Re: Sekret "berkshire-nor" facility

Yes, the English Channel demonstrates incredible payload-pulling power.

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Re: Sekret "berkshire-nor" facility

Where exactly would be similar to Spaceport America's location in the high desert of New Mexico at over 1200 m altitude and no trees for hundreds of km?

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How about Rockall?

Unlikely to worry any of the locals if you launch from there.

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Re: How about Rockall?

Fairly good chance of the replacement playmonaut repeating his predecessors fate though...

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Re: How about Rockall?

The recovery could prove tricky, though...

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Re: How about Rockall?

Still too many trees

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Re: Re: How about Rockall?

Exactly.

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Anonymous Coward

A very rude man from the Ministry of Obstruction

I know him. Our planning application for a house in a poxy village in the middle of nowhere is still on hold after a year. Another resident knows him even better, he's been asked to provide an environmental impact study for his desire to build a garage onto his house. To get an idea of how ridiculous this is my brother-in-law keeps his cows inside the village boundary and the milking shed is built onto his house, everyday he marches the cows from the cowshed to be milked. Also chickens, geese, turkeys and a variety of other un-identifiable presumably cross bred fowl wander the streets.

Oh, and it's no good naming and shaming these bastards nor the townhall they work in because they take great pride in what they do. I suspect they have awards for the one who creates most frustration.

Nothing to do with LOHAN but I've been wanting to get that off my chest for a long time.

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Re: A very rude man from the Ministry of Obstruction

That is indeed the same bloke.

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Re: A very rude man from the Ministry of Obstruction

How long have you lived in Spain, Lester? Did you remember to accompany your bureaucratic request with a bottle of Carlos Primero? Well, did you?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A very rude man from the Ministry of Obstruction

That doesn't work any more. These days you need to be married to royalty or a celebrity then you can do just as you please with no need to bother the man in the ministry.

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Re: A very rude man from the Ministry of Obstruction

I think I see your problem:

> Ministry of Obstruction declined to authorise the Intercommunity transfer of explosives, citing local law

There are two points to appreciate. The first is that Spain's version of democracy makes everything illegal unless explicitly permitted. The second is that if you don't like the local laws, just go down the road - they'll be different there (repeat until you either find laws that you like, or run out of road - in which case, prepare the ever-effective and still extremely popular plain brown envelope)

A friend decided to import his venerable old Land Rover. This involved taking it down to the local MoT (in Spain: ITV - run by the government, not a local garage) testing station and starting the process of having it registered. The individual there had never seen a Landy before and duly pronounced it to be a Lorry (pretty obvious really: since it had 4 wheels and seats inside) and therefore would cost €12,000 to "process" and would have to be re-tested every 6 months - it being a "commercial" vehicle 'n' all.

Rather than do the typical brit thing of stumping up and grumbliing a bit, he took to to a different ITV station, in a place just a leeeetle more wordly (where the donkeys have straw hats) and duly got it declared a car and subject to the usual domestic arrangements for transferring to a spanish registration - which only required the payment of several hundred €€€s and was brown-envelope free.

The caveat being, that while local laws are both arbitrary and geographically inconstant (and interpreted by individuals with neither the qualifications nor the motivation to make an informed choice) they can - and frequently are - revised without any warning or notification. Worse than that: they appear to be capable of retrospective revision, with fines payable for transgressions that come about due to changes - even if things were done legally under the "old" law.

P.S. There isn't one single Ministry of Obstruction, all the Ministries serve that purpose.

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Re: Re: A very rude man from the Ministry of Obstruction

I've been in Spain for nine years. Sadly I still cling to the British notion that government official should do their jobs without "incentives".

By that I do indeed mean the odd bottle of Carlos Primero, rather than a gun to the head, which is an attractive notion sometimes.

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Re: A very rude man from the Ministry of Obstruction

An admirable desire to stick to your Anglo-Saxon guns, Lester, but do you ever succeed in getting anything done through the local bureaucrats (particularly out in the wilds of Gredos)? To be fair to our Spanish friends, the pay for a lot of their government jobs isn't great and kind of assumes that earnings will be topped up with 'tips' - rather like waiters in the UK.

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Re: Re: A very rude man from the Ministry of Obstruction

The problem is they have too many "job for life" funcionarios. Lay the bone idle half of them off, pay the remainder a living wage and it's sorted.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A very rude man from the Ministry of Obstruction

>The problem is they have too many "job for life" funcionarios.

Oi, that's my wife and sister-in-law you're talking about and both of them already get a damn sight more than a living wage, more than me as well. I'd suggest getting rid of the bone idle ones and cutting the salaries of the remainder. Actually for at least one year they did get their extra pay suspended. A few of our clients are state concerns and the work ethic has to be seen, they wander in late, disappear for breakfast, return for lunch, spend all afternoon chatting and drinking coffee then leave as if they'd arrived early. Incredibly as they have taken the oposiciones these are supposedly the best of the bunch.

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Re: A very rude man from the Ministry of Obstruction

I agree, Lester, but (let's face it) it ain't going to happen any time soon - think what it would do to (already sky-high) unemployment. A lot of Spain is quite close to the old Soviet system of "we pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us". Shame, when the country and people are so lovely.

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Longburn

In the US you can pretty well get them in Walmart

You'll find them next to the autorifle section, just along the aisle from the trained attack wolverines armed with rocket launchers.

Apparently it's where the Ferguson cops do all their shopping.

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Re: Longburn

Actually, the reloads are stacked beside the sharks aimed with frikkin' lasers tank.

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Re: Longburn

Given the layout of my local Wally World I'd half expect them to be located between the stationary and cleaning chemicals, you know right next to the LPG exchange rack.

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Re: Longburn

Don't make fun of the shark tank. I like being able to pick out my own marine predation system as if it were a lobster in a seafood restaurant!

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Pint

Well done Lester

Is there any possibility of fastening the said bureaucrat to the launcher? I'd pay to see that...

p.s. what happened to mugs with the paintjob design?

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Re: Well done Lester

I'm not going to waste good helium on the bloke. We've got a mission patch logo mug on the brew. I've marked you down for some merch.

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Re: Well done Lester

It would more poetic to use his butt as the launch pad.

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Thumb Up

It'll be the blighty mug for me.

... now where do I sign?

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Re: It'll be the blighty mug for me.

On Kickstarter, imminently

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Go

Cowboy Playmanaught

Good On you guys moving away from the EU sorry Franco's Army.

There is one major issue the Autopilot has been programmed to avoid trees....

What about Cacti?

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Re: Cowboy Playmanaught

No, no no! You've got this wrong. Only an idiot would program their autopilot to avoid trees. If you tell the aircraft that their are trees, it will find them! This is a cast-iron law of aviation. You simply whistle quietly to yourself, muttering, "Trees? Trees? No, none of those round here." Then hope it doesn't notice.

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