back to article Vulture 2 fills beak with Pi in the Sky

It's all go at the front end of our magnificent Vulture 2 , and following the recent taming of the spaceplane's cantankerous canards, we've now mounted a hot-off-the-press Raspberry Pi in the Sky - the dedicated telemetry board for the Raspberry Pi. Fans of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project will know that …

  1. SuperTim

    Playmonaut Safety...

    The installation of the latest bit of kit is causing alarm bells to ring of anyone who's role includes health and safety at work. There are numerous razor sharp edges perilously close to the pilot which could easily snag pressure suits, bark shins or generally take the skin of knuckles (if they were actually present). Are there any plans to pad the interior to prevent our plucky plastic play pilot from having an industrial accident?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Playmonaut Safety...

      Fortunately for us, our lawyers say health and safety regs only extend to 10,000m above the ground, after which we're immune for prosecution.

      1. SuperTim

        Re: Playmonaut Safety...

        That still leaves the ascent and descent under regulations (Unless he plans on entering the cabin Chuck Yeager style)

        1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: Playmonaut Safety...

          Oh ok then, we'll install an airbag. Might as well put a cup holder in while we're at it.

          1. SuperTim

            Re: Playmonaut Safety...

            Sweet! Someone call Xzibit...That Shizzle be PIMPED!

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Just a thought...

    All that computery right on top of a couple of high-power motors on the servo. Might be an idea to test on the ground that interference is not a problem.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Just a thought...

      We'll certainly find out soon enough, when we fire the whole thing up.

      1. kmac499

        Re: Just a thought...


        Rocket Science, easy as F=ma

        Rocket Engineering now that is tricky, well done guys...

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: Just a thought...

          Or Kepler's 3rd law anyway, not much harder than F=MA

  3. ISYS

    BBC at it again

    On a side note - did anyone see this today from the professionals at the BBC?

    If you watch the video the most worrying thing is that the students and the teacher are all convinced they have been to 'Space'

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: BBC at it again

      Well, fair play to 'em anyway.

      1. ISYS

        Re: BBC at it again

        Absolutely fair play to them.

        Two pints to the teacher for initiating such and interesting project (although he loses one of them for not researching where space starts).

        A sneaky pint behind bike sheds to the students for getting it all working.

        The BBC can buy the pints and do the washing up afterwards for pretending to be a serious news organisation.

    2. daveake

      Re: BBC at it again

      I've almost given up trying to train media types to actually get facts right - e.g. no it's not "space" no the balloon doesn't explode no it doesn't send the position down via GPS satellites etc etc.

      Of the many journos I've dealt with, Lester is one of the small percentage who actually checks his facts.

      Good on the school for a) doing it and b) actually recovering the flight. I've seen a few flights lately where people (not schools) completely failed at (b).


  4. imanidiot Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Looking good

    I am however slightly worried with the USB to TTL converter and especially the wires from there to the pixhawk dangling out the back, just begging to slide out when that rocket motor gives LOHAN a mighty thrust up the rear end. Shirley they will be affixed somehow right?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Looking good

      Oh yes, epoxied in place for the main event, in common with everything else which can't be lashed down, bolted, etc.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Looking good

        Additional question: The TTL converter is just hanging in free space from the USB connector atm? Will it receive some additional support in the "up and down" direction? Because as it is currently sitting, it'll put a lot of stress on the solder joints for the usb connectors on the PitS and converter board. And from experience, solder joints are NOT structural. (Especially the bonding of the copper trace to the board is prone to breaking loose from vibration induced stresses.)

        1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: Looking good

          I'll look into it.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I'm a wee bit concerned about all the serious hardware that's being added in the form of full-fat connectors. Just how much extra weight is it adding?


    Any mechanical connector is a potential point of failure, especially under extreme environments - and SPAAAACE is pretty extreme!

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Your concerns are noted, and we are addressing. As I've said, everything will be bolted, lashed or epoxied.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOHAN link suspect

    Noticed that the first link in the article to the LOHAN archive appears to be directing to which does not contain any useful information on the LOHAN project but rather some dodgy scripts (FF with No-Script prevented any damage). It looks like your space plane project has attracted the attention of the Chinese gov't.....

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: LOHAN link suspect

      Should be - extra "e" there.

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