How can this article not be labelled RotM? It's a friggin' hi-tech satellite attacking bystanders!
A "giant space balloon" went out of control in Australia yesterday in a "gut-wrenching" incident which saw a car wrecked and bystanders within inches of death, according to eyewitness accounts. The giant gasbag was intended to ascend 20 miles to the edge of space, there to measure cosmic gamma-ray emissions and probe the …
"What's that, skip? There's an old man trapped beneath a car which was rolled over by a rampaging space vessel?"
Surely the clues were there before the launch. I'm no rocket scientist, but the balloon's rope looks pretty slack and it's gusting at about 45 degrees. That's not going to head upwards when you let it go.
... read "baboon" at first? I only read the article because I thought the BBC had missed another important story whilst waiting for Gordon Brown to finish bullyingH^H^H^H^H^H^H^apologising to some old lady ... (let's face it, the British mainstream media are perfectly capable of missing a story about a huge extraterrestrial ape on a car-wrecking spree unless they can get an angle on how it will affect Nick Clegg's chances)
When I used to launch radiosondes in a strong wind, it used to take a strong throw at 90 deg to the wind to get it to clear the buildings/ground. The occasional lucky launch resulted in the sonde going between buildings which where only 10 feet apart. Other times it might bounce along the ground for a bit but still successful data reception.
So design failure - that crane/launcher needs a throw mechanism.
In related news, NASA announced the highly successful test of their new integrated Roll-Cage mechanism, designed to protect capsule occupants in the event of a hard landing...
According to the NASA spokesman, "the test went down even better than we had planned - we got a really nice tumbling fall with a strong cross-range motion over the ground, with minimal involvement from any supporting structures or the lofting device. We also got an unplanned test of the Cage's ability to decimate a Land Rover, which we are proposing as a new international standard test for capsule survivability. All in all, it was a much better test than we had hoped, and was definitely worth the trip to Australia."
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