back to article LOHAN twangs BRASTRAP to unfetter mighty orbs

Capping a hectic month for the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team - in which we revealed the magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane, rescued our heroic playmonaut from the side of a Spanish mountain and finally got a rocket motor igniter to go bang at 20,000m - we're delighted to report that the Big Red Abort Switch To …


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  1. Anomalous Cowturd

    Have you got a launch date yet?

    CBA to read back over all the postings to check.

    Oh, and keep up the grand work chaps!

  2. ArmyCrow

    Reminds me of programmes for schools.

    The BRASTRAP video has a particular charm to it, reminiscent of sitting around a 20" television, wheeled into the library at school to watch episodes of Look & Read. How, as children, we used to look forward to finding out what would happen next to the Boy from Outer Space, or what horrors lurked in the Dark Tower. Thankfully the television series Look Around You, also brings back these halcyon days, but it's always nice to have an addition to these televisual wonders brought to us by the SPB.

    1. Ottman001

      Re: Reminds me of programmes for schools.

      I think you forgot to mention the 15 minutes wasted by teacher trying to get the VHS to play because the video out lead had yet again been disconnected by a mischievous oik in the year above. For some reason, teacher thought that if she pressed 'Play' a bit harder it would have a different result.

      My other memory of watching tapes at school is the floating pencil accompanied by someone singing "Magic, Magic 'e'!". A couple of years later we were being told of that harm that "Magic 'e'" can do. Mixed up world.

      1. Ottman001

        Re: Reminds me of programmes for schools.

        Look And Read (Magic Magic E):

        1. Yet Another Commentard

          Re: Reminds me of programmes for schools.

          ... and a five minute countdown clock where the marks slowly vanished before the programme.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Reminds me of programmes for schools.

        Luxury! In my day we didn't even have VHS but an unholy umatic monster. It failed so often that I think I only ever saw it once.

  3. SirDigalot

    does this thing fall from a great height?

    Just wondering if there is a parachute or something, I do understand this is going to be the backroads of deepest darkest spain, but still a bunch of hardware falling from an unspecified height ( probably considerably higher than a tree) could be pretty painful or cause some serious damage to a person/child/dog/house/pint of carelessly placed beer.

    So will the fall have some sort of arresting device to make it non lethal or does it come with a bond sticker on it for insurance purposes.

    wouldn't want anyone to get hurt by lohan (unles she is driving a car)

    1. Rob E

      Re: does this thing fall from a great height?

      Yep, not to worry, it will have a parachute!

      The Cutdown device goes between the balloon and the parachute, which would be used for a graceful landing after balloon burst in any event.

  4. Pookietoo

    So does this get fired anyway at some point?

    Or is the explosive device still live when it falls to earth after a non-abortive ascent?

  5. Efros

    BRASTRAP much more likable than the Apollo LES.

  6. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    So let me get this right…

    … you now have the ability to remotely detonate an explosive device using mobile communications and are planning to launch such a device into orbit from a remote mountain location?

    I bet you're giving someone at the Pentagon an itchy trigger finger!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    smart phone

    Just wondering why you are using a rpi to send the text message. Could a smart phone not do the same job? Or did you use a rpi because you could!

    1. daveake

      Re: smart phone

      A reader suggested a Bond-style trigger box, so the RPi was an obvious choice!

      The message can't be sent using SMS, but is sent by POSTing a URL to the RockBLOCK server. So yes it could have been done using a simple program on a smartphone or a PC (in fact I tested it all on a PC before porting the code to the Pi).

  8. Andus McCoatover

    From the RockBLOCK spec....

    I see it's using Iridium's "Short Burst Data’ (SBD)"

    When I were a lad at school, SBD stood for "Silent But Deadly" in reference to the Latin teacher's wont of letting off a "Ventus Foulus" at regular intervals...S'pose it's altitude, no-one can smell your fart.

    1. daveake

      Re: From the RockBLOCK spec....

      SBD was extensively tested in our workshop, which thankfully was large enough for the "messages" to dissipate.

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