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back to article Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000

Our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Kickstarter campaign got off to a flying start over the weekend, attracting 160 backers who pledged a total of £6,000 toward the New Mexico launch of the Vulture 2 spaceplane. So inspiring was this first flush of support that our plucky Playmonaut and apprentice Special Projects …

WTF?

Why not somewhere else in Yurope?

I am in favour of you sending your probe into space, but it seems you were a little unclear as to why you have to go to the US for your junket^H^H^H spaceplane launch. You already stated that the French and Dutch had been helpful, so why not sip some Beaujolais or Moet as your spherical object takes your probe to places no one has been before?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Why not somewhere else in Yurope?

All countries in Europe have some form of flight restrictions for balloons, which crosses them off the list. What's more, the European skies are full of air traffic, and the whole place is generally much more densely populated then our corner of Spain.

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Re: Why not somewhere else in Yurope?

Or hire a boat and launch it from International waters!

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Re: Why not somewhere else in Yurope?

"Or hire a boat and launch it from International waters!"

Sadly that would make a) following it and b) the actual retrieval just a little bit hard. The last mission was a complete success apart from the little issue of it ending up somewhere in the English Channel, never to be recovered.

We mourn the loss of the playmonaut deeply, & would prefer to not lose another in a similar tragedy. Plus there's some expensive equipment going to be on board!

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Thumb Up

Proper Boffinry

Top marks to the proper boffin attire worm by your (our?) boffin chugger (or is it Kigger?)

The pipe is a bit Holmes-esque but still adheres to the rules of Boffin coture.

(The dog-on-string maybe taking it a bit too far as some may also expect the bofffin to stink of stale piss.)

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MrT
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Re: Proper Boffinry

From the Kickstarter update:

"For the record, 12-year-old Katarina doesn't really smoke a pipe. She says it affects the taste of her afternoon gin and tonic."

:-D

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I once met a young lady in Kiev

who, while trying to persuade me of her charms in the matter of short-term negotiable affection, gave me the whole spiel about how her father was a senior officer at Baikonur.

Perhaps he could help?

Of course, it would require a trip back to Kiev to locate said lady...

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Coat

Re: I once met a young lady in Kiev

And here I was - thinking she said she was a dancer.

Mine's the one with the English/Russian phrasebook in the pocket, thanks.

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Mushroom

Re: I once met a young lady in Kiev

Of course, it would require a trip back to Kiev to locate said lady...

Maybe not advisable in the light of the current political situation?

// air travel also hazardous in the region, I believe

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Re: I once met a young lady in Kiev

short-term negotiable affection

I think kickstarter has rules about that, as well...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I once met a young lady in Kiev

"... while trying to persuade me of her charms in the matter of short-term negotiable affection, gave me the whole spiel about how her father was a senior officer at Baikonur."

You'll probably find she's Russian, pretending to be a local, helping "protect" people from the Evil Westerners...

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Bit much

Can't you just ship the plane and let Edge do the launch? Or, import the rocket motors into Gibraltar and take a trip 'down the road' and do it from the runway here. Just point it at Africa so you don't enter Spanish air space.

In fact, doing it from Gib would be wonderful, in that it would VERY clearly stick 2 fingers up at Spanish bureaucracy and right in plain sight of them. You may have to fly the thing to the UK though, then back into Gib as I bet the f**kers would try to stop you at the border...

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Re: Bit much

Look DOWN...surprised nobody's mentioned Australia yet. They've got lots of empty space...and the odd sheep or cow.

// LOHAN would probably land right in front of one of them

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Re: Bit much

The same Australia that classes BB guns as firearms, won't let you do your own plumbing, and makes you chop cars in half before you import them if they are deemed to be too fast.

I'm sure they will be just fine with high powered rockets bolted onto remote controlled space planes.

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Pint

Payday is Thursday night for me

Hope there's one of the pint glasses left by then!

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Dangerous..

I'm surprised the Cuerpo Nacional de Policía did not wander up and say '"'ello, 'ello, 'ello" and drag your Begging Boffin off to the cells for vagrancy and a quiet rubber truncheoning.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Dangerous..

I have friends ;-) Nuff said.

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Flame

So, a beer-fulled jolly this most certainly isn't.

For shame El Reg - remember your motto!!

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Pint

Re: So, a beer-fulled jolly this most certainly isn't.

They have beer in America?

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Re: So, a beer-fulled jolly this most certainly isn't.

No - which is why this WONT work - see recent hypersonic tests!

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Pint

Re: So, a beer-fulled jolly this most certainly isn't.

Of course there is beer in America, even "good beer," as an English acquaintance said in shocked tones, staring into her glass blankly, "even though its cold!" You just want to avoid stuff made by the big names. For New Mexico check:

http://nmbeer.org/

If you are feeling adventurous you could even try Cave Creek Chili Beer, though I'm pretty sure the beer is made less interesting than the pepper in the bottle.

Besides there are also decent Mexican beers (well, lagers) to had.

In New Mexico just avoid the Hatch chilis. They sell more than they grow.

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Nice dog...

Done the Kickstarter bit, but only because of your exquisite taste in dogs...

...but been following the project for a while - excellent job!

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Nice dog...

That's Judy, of Punch, Richard and Judy fame. Quality dog on string.

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MrT
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Re: Punch Richard and Judy...

...it's a bit harsh, but I understand from those who watched their show that they used to raise such a response from deep within viewers... ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Use this to bribe the Spanish official who is blocking this...

...and save everyone time and money.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Use this to bribe the Spanish official who is blocking this...

"Use this to bribe the Spanish official who is blocking this." You sure you mean "bribe"?

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Joke

Re: Use this to bribe the Spanish official who is blocking this...

For some reason I automatically translated 'bribe' to

"provide a consulting fee to employ someone who knows their way around the byzantine regulations relating to such matters to provide a positive outcome for all parties involved. The most appropriate consultant in such cases is often the representative in control of such regulations. "

Although I admit that 'bribe' is catchier :)

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Joke

Spaceport Fees

Last time I paid to dock it was only 4 credits, however that was in the mid 90's and I hear intergalactic inflation has been increasing constantly

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Happy

Re: Spaceport Fees

Last time I tried to dock my lasers accidentally discharged at the space station, and I had to leave the sector with a host of Viper patrol craft on my heels.

I wonder if my status is still "Fugitive"....

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MrT
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Re: Spaceport Fees

... "The Blue Danube" waltz now playing in my head...

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I've just pledged

And on Thursday I am guesting on a scifi podcast and am hoping to promote LOHAN as my geek pick of the week.

This damn ship will fly!

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: I've just pledged

Good man.

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Hold My Beer, Watch This

As Minister Without Portfolio ex Machina, let me state for the record that the land of butt crack bottle rocket launches and rocket sled facial distortion will be happy to host your pyromaniacal day in the country. Of course, as true blood back yard wrestling artists, Whoop Whoop!, you'll want Los Pollos Hermanos to cater.

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Mushroom

Re: Hold My Beer, Watch This

Los Pollos Hermanos?

Nah, try Pollo de un Hombre Verdadero - they'll be able to launch themselves!

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So how much are we talking then?

I'm wondering how much those spaceport fees are. And what they deliver in return for said fees. (By which I mean, is it really a better option to launch from there instead of some other flat bit of overpondian land?

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Pint

Just done a "drive by" on Google Maps and I have to say your "attend the launch in person" package does not seem too compelling. Chief concern is that there does not appear to be a source of beer within a 20 mile radius of the spaceport. In fact the closest you can get the Google pegman to the spaceport seems to be about 10 miles away where the road stops at a cattle grid. You'd better validate this place really exists before handing over any dosh. Roswell is not far away and the whole thing could be an elaborate hoax.

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Alien

walmart...

sells beer.... and there is one right next to the spaceport!!!

In America walmart en route, is often known as "On the road planning"...

Walmart also sells coolers, dry ice (to keep water frozen), water (to keep the beer/food cool), so you can spend at least 4 days at rock festivals or camping without going out for supplies...

P.

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Oh, it exists, but it's hard to believe that it DOES exist. It's hard to use any words other than "the middle of nowhere". It's a couple of hours to Las Cruces from there (on the good roads, there's some nonpaved on the way), and that's the only significant city for quite some distance.

I haven't driven through this part of the state before - it would be quite an adventure I think. Bring about 3 times as much water as you think you might need, and a reliable 4-wheel drive car.

Edit: Actually Truth or Consequences NM is a bit closer than Las Cruces. Still not a Sunday drive with the top down though, unless you like being lightly grilled.

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Re: walmart...

The walmart you're finding is probably the one near their offices (the "spaceport authority") in Las Cruces. The spaceport itself is about 150 miles north of that. I don't think even walmart is nuts enough to put a store out there.

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Re: walmart...

actually only 45 miles north of Las Cruces. I was going by the estimated travel time on google maps, which was over 2 hours. Bad road speed data or bad road, I guess.

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Re: walmart...

yeah, being lazy ;-) But 45 miles, is not bad if you have a vehicle that matches...and as I said, having cooler(s) with supplies, you can easily camp for a few days...

P.

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Mushroom

Roswell not far away?

You'll need to make a side trip, then to the Robert Goddard monument:

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/21938

You have more in common with him than it would at first appear.

It seems that his neighbors in Auburn MA didn't exactly appreciate the frequent launches and he relocated to Roswell, New Mexico to continue his experiments...

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Boffin

Come one, this has got to work!

How the hell am I to get my engraved pint glass otherwise?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Come one, this has got to work!

Exactly. It's all or nothing.

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Re: Come one, this has got to work!

Go on, try a mug + teeshirt combo, see if anyone is sober enough to go for that.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Come one, this has got to work!

They've have to be pretty drunk, since that combo doesn't actually exist :-p

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Re: Come one, this has got to work!

Ah, that was supposed to be a repeat of the suggestion to your good self to *add* that combo as a new reward tier!

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Come one, this has got to work!

Aha. Done, now get yer wallet out.

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MrT
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Re: Come one, this has got to work!

I thought the idea would be to dip twice for things that didn't come in a standard offer - like a tankard and the £100 t-shirt/mug/stickers combo would require two donations... ;-)

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Come one, this has got to work!

The problem is you can't make two pledges. To have all the possible combinations would be a bit impractical. It's not ideal.

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