back to article Attack of the Italian space pod parachute babes

So far at Farnborough, we've brought you news on all the mainstream, humdrum pieces of sky-tech: stealth superfighters, supersonic jumpjets, tiltrotor plane-copters for the rooftop penthouse dwelling billionaire in your life. By now, many of you will have been saying to yourselves, "That's all very well, but it's a bit …


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  1. Dan


    There's a joke in here somewhere about really big heat-shielded bra cups, but I can't find it...

    Mines the dirty old mans mac.

  2. Simon Williams

    Could be worse

    "SPacecrew Emergency Module (SPEM), which is hardly going to add to one's bella figura".

    Could be worse there could be a "Recovery" in there as well.

  3. AGirlFromVenus

    too easy

    SPacecrew Emergency Module (SPEM) => SPacecrew Emergency Rentry Module (SPERM)

  4. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Silvio making Amends ?????? Prima Don?

    SPEM to the Rescue is a great bella figura conditioner by all accounts, and highly Prized in Every Circle, Lewis. ...... which makes IT a Valuable Trading Resource.

    Crikey, Lewis, you've found AIGSpot. Now 42 Handle ITs Pleasures is a Welcoming Indulgence for the Hearty Soul.

  5. Rusty Warrior

    Space Divers...

    I can't think straight... imagination working overtime...

    oh my...

  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    Made in Italy.

    So it'll rust (never mind what it's allegedly made of or the environment it's deployed in, they'll find a way) and the electronics won't work when you actually need them to.

    Just ask anyone who's ever owned an Alfa.........

  7. heystoopid


    Hmmm , very nice replacements for the ASUS beach girl indeed , one could easily get lost in their beaming smiles !

  8. Alex

    "Women parachutists use foam domes to land safely.."

    "News at 11..."

    Yeah, it's there somewhere..

    Well done to the Italians for using a great advertising campaign!

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Come on Lewis - SPacecrew Emergency Rescue Module, surely?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    It could be worse. They could have named it the SPacecrew Emergency Reentry Module.

    Paris, 'cos she's had more than her share?

    Anonymous, 'cos I'm not putting my name on this...

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Muff Divers?

    I like their outfits - they must be tipping the velvet...

  12. Steve Hosgood


    Reality eventually catches up with 1932 sci fi! E.E (Doc) Smith's "Triplanetary" featured agents dropping into enemy territory using ablative personal re-entry pods. I'd have thought that the G-forces would kill the agent before he/she got far enough into the atmosphere to be able to deploy a parachute though....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    One's got giant hands

    and the other seems to have her hair dryer still on her head.

    Such a wasted oppertunity not to do stripping Italian housewives parachuting.

    Paris likes going down in silk.

  14. Elmer Phud

    Another Berlusconi scam?

    Never mind the quality - look there's tits!

    Looks like several Reg readers have fallen for it already.

  15. Rory Webber
    Paris Hilton


    You come here to make a perfectly good SPERM joke, and half a dozen buggers have already thought of it before you.

    Hopefully the astronauts won't suffer from premature ejection when they come to actually use this. The shield will have to be strong too, to deal with a hard, fast re-entry.

    Paris, because I'm sure that within 24 hours of aliens landing on our planet, there'll be a DVD released of her looking bored while banging one of them....

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <slaps wrist>

    "Haut" mean high not hot.

  17. Dave Bell


    Sorry, but the date for Doc Smith's story is probably wrong. The book "Triplanetary" was a fix-up prequel to the Lensman series, published in 1948. I can't, at this minute, place the parachute-from-space scene, but it may be a misremembering of a sequence in the Atlantis segment, rather than something from the original "Triplanetary" story.

    Do any of the Italian lasses have red hair?

  18. Daniel
    Dead Vulture

    is it ...

    ... Friday yet?

  19. Anonymous Coward


    "I'd have thought that the G-forces would kill the agent"

    no real g-force on re-entry... you're falling, remember....

    The headline was one in a million tho. Thanks for that, made my day.

  20. Paul


    "I'd have thought that the G-forces would kill the agent before he/she got far enough into the atmosphere to be able to deploy a parachute though."

    Not realy. They would be under 1 G of force (or less at that hight).

  21. The Serpent


    I was here expecting babes, I don't fancy any of those sky donkeys

  22. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Once Bitten, Twice Shy ......

    "Paris, because I'm sure that within 24 hours of aliens landing on our planet, there'll be a DVD released of her looking bored while banging one of them...." .... By Rory Webber Posted Wednesday 16th July 2008 10:49 GMT


    QuITe Obviously that would be an Alien Imposter.

  23. Colonel Panic

    Cue quote from Moonraker

    (an awful film, but appropriately cheesy)

    [Closing sequence - Bond has got the girl - M comes on the videolink]

    M: What are you doing Commander Bond ?

    Bond: Attempting re-entry

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Farnborough ay...?!?!

    Farnborough, South West of London, somewhere between Woking and Basingstoke, right???

    So where the f@ck is the blazing beach that the hottie in the top left manage to land on?

    Personally, the pig tails on bottom left FTW. Come on, we all now that's what the pictures are really for!!! ;)

  25. Graham Marsden


    The scene you're thinking of wasn't a "re-entry", it was a system allowing someone to successfully bail out of a supersonic plane at high altitude.

    The situation being described is more like that used by the Mobile Infantry to effect an assault landing on a planet from orbit in Heinlein's Starship Troopers.

    Mine's the Armoured Combat Suit...

  26. Anonymous Coward

    @ Dan...'Allo 'Allo...

    According to Captain Bertorelli's principle of lift,

    I can clearly imagine that the image you are grasping for is that of...

    "The fallen Madonna with the big boobies" by Van Klomp

    ... Coat...? Well, I can assuage you that it has my knockwurst sticking out of it...

  27. Dave

    @Paul etc

    So on that piece of logic the G-force when they eventually hit the ground after the parachute hits the ground will be no more than 1G ?

    I don't think so... the G-forces experienced will depend on the relative velocity of object and atmosphere, which could be massive if the object was in a fast, contra-rotating orbit, or extremely low, if dropping out of geo-synchronos orbit.

  28. BlueGreen

    Done long time before, IIRC - project moose




    MOOSE was perhaps the most celebrated bail-out from orbit system of the early 1960's. The suited astronaut would strap the MOOSE to his back, and jump out of the spacecraft or station into free space. Pulling a ripcord would fill an inflatable heat shield with polyurethane. The astronaut would use a small hand-held gas to orient himself for retro-fire, and then fire a solid rocket motor strapped to his chest to return to earth.

    The MOOSE consisted of a chest-mounted parachute, a flexible, folded 1.8 m diameter elastomeric heat shield, and a canister of polyurethane foam. Pulling the deployment cord would fill the shield into shape and encase the back of the astronaut in perfectly form-fitting polyurethane. The astronaut would use a small hand-held gas get device to orient himself for retro-fire, and then fire a solid rocket motor mounted in the device. After aligning himself for re-entry and putting the MOOSE into a slow roll, he would throw the gas gun away. After a ballistic re-entry, the astronaut would pull the ripcord of the chest-parachute, which would pull him away from the heat shield for a parachute landing.


  29. David Lester

    I foresee a Lego re-imagining ...

    Lewis writes: "Regarding the matter of which Shooting Star might eventually become the world's first space parachutist - truly, the first really haut couture sky diver - Giovangrossi played his cards close to his chest.

    "Tests with humans are a long way off", he said. ®"

    Surely the perfect moment to suggest that El Reg contributes to the advancement of science, no?

    Weren't you even mildly tempted to suggest that there might be suitably qualified El Reg staffers prepared to go where no one has gone before in pursuit of the best in Italian high fashion?

  30. Anonymous Coward


    I've just had a look on the Playmobil website, (sooo busy at work) I can't find any parachutists, so you'll need to get a bit creative.

  31. RMartin

    Foamy ideas

    Sounds like a good idea, as it provides a last-ditch alternative for astronauts that just doesnt exist at the moment.

    Its not a new idea though (although the materials science probably is), as I am old enough to remember NASA considering pretty much the same concept back in the 1960s. In that instance however it was conceived as a sort of spray that an astronaut would apply to his colleague that would expand and harden into a hard heat-resistant shell. One hard part is orbital steering, and in the old NASA concept it would be via a small hand-held reaction thruster, which sounds very scary but as the problem remains I wonder how it can be solved.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Basically you've got to decelerate from orbital speed to surface rotational speed over the course of your descent as well as losing all the gravitational p.e.. The reverse of what rockets do while throwing you up there. You can't do much skip-braking off the top of the atmosphere in an emergency re-entry pod cos that's a pretty unpredictable procedure that requires a decent amount of delta-vee (and information on state and computation of the correct adjustments) be available for corrections, so you have to do a pretty steep re-entry to be sure of not bouncing off the atmosphere. Also it's easier to protect the payload from the heat of a fast re-entry.

    The internal capsule footage I've seen on news and documentary don't make it look like a picnic.

  33. Mike Flugennock

    @RMartin re:foamy ideas

    You're likely thinking of the MOOSE orbital bailout system discussed at: (see BlueGreen's post above)

    ...which was something an astronaut would strap himself to and, once clear of the spacecraft, pull a ripcord to inflate a form-fitting heatshield.

    Orbital steering was to be provided by a handheld cold-gas "gun" thruster array much like the one that worked quite well for Ed White on Gemini IV:

    ...and, my all-time fave:

    Oh, and I would insert an obligatory Bulgarian Heatshield Joke here, but I'm supposed to be working.

  34. J
    Paris Hilton

    @Dave & AC

    "So on that piece of logic the G-force when they eventually hit the ground after the parachute hits the ground will be no more than 1G ?"

    But who was speaking of the landing? Read again, mate.

    (hint: the original post said "I'd have thought that the G-forces would kill the agent ***before he/she got far enough into the atmosphere to be able to deploy a parachute*** though")

    "Basically you've got to decelerate from orbital speed to surface rotational speed over the course of your descent as well as losing all the gravitational p.e.. The reverse of what rockets do while throwing you up there."

    It depends on how the jump is performed. So, unless the rocket is heading straight down to Earth, what you said is invalid. If they are orbiting when jumping, then the vertical velocity would be zero, even if the horizontal one is a high velocity (and that one has indeed to be diminished by some negative acceleration). So it's definitely not the reverse of the acceleration needed for going up, since it's a completely different trajectory. And besides, unless they are carrying a live rocket with them, and pointing it downwards, their acceleration during fall will never exceed 1 G.

    Damn, I'm not even a physicist (I know, it shows), but c'mon...

    Grumpily yours


  35. Anonymous Coward

    Scary descent

    Have you seen video of spacecraft entering the atmosphere? Flames 50 feet or longer streaming from the ablative heat shields. That'd be one scary ride in a space suit hanging on to one of those little shields!

  36. Anonymous Coward

    The pix, where's pix?

    What, no screensavers of these chicks? Where's the link to the full-size versions? Pleeease!!!!

  37. jon

    Terrrorise the Galaxy

    With reference back to an earlier post, yes it does appear in the 'Lensman' series and more recent variation using hang-gliders can be found in the 'Cobra' trilogy by Timothay Zhan. Harry Harrison also used it in 'The Stainless Steel Rat for President'

    But enough fantasy.. where does one sign up for the Space Marines?

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Italian designer space-suits

    None of your Saville Row crap here.

    Mines the Armani, with ablative coating.

  39. Chris G

    You can stuff yer bungees

    Where the sun don't shine. This, has to be the ultimate extreme sport, requiring a fat wallet and very large cojones. I definitely don't have the wallet but I wouldn't mind trying for the cojones. What an experience to jump from orbit, can I book now for the first trip?

  40. Steve Hosgood

    OK - I give up!

    I never was a great sci-fi buff. I think I concede the point that was made earlier about the 1948 version of Triplanetary. I was indeed referring to the rework of the 1932(?) story as it was retro-fitted (badly) into the Lensman Series. However, I was of the opinion that much of the 1932 story was re-used for the 1948 version, but having never read the 1932 original I can't say. Of course, a story about a technologically advanced Atlantean civilization would hardly fit with the title .... so I give up and admit I overstated it by 16 years.

    I'm not giving up on the G-force issue though. It's nothing to do with the force of gravity y'know, it's all to do with decelerating from about 7 or 8 km/sec to zero in a given time. Astronauts and Cosmonauts in the 1960's had to endure around 9G for short periods during re-entry IIRC.

    This point wasn't directly to do with Triplanetary BTW, I was back on the issue of actually re-entring from orbit. IIRC the Triplanetary issue, the re-entry was done from a suborbital-lob plane, so yeah, the initial velocity would be lower.

    In the late 1950's an American proto-astronaut rode a helium ballon to a then-world-record of about 102,000ft (32km appx?) then jumped off the edge and freefell back into the lower atmosphere where he pulled a 'chute and landed safely. He got close to the local speed of sound on the way down....

  41. Bounty
    Dead Vulture


    it's like jumping off a very high cliff. It's only 1 G. But you will have a "my heart just flew out of my chest" type of issue when you switch mediums... say from vacuum to air, or from air to H20 or ground.

  42. Oldfogey

    Benson Arizona

    Surely it would be easier just to surf down on some handy space junk?

  43. Ian Oliver
    Paris Hilton

    Italian parachute team

    Given at least the pictures of the members (and chance of 1600x1200?) I'm thinking of joining up...

    Paris...parachutes, jumping...use your imagination!

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Her biography has him fingering her in the upstairs of a double decker

    Tony and Cherie?

    I just vomited a bit in the back of my mouth.

  45. zcat

    deceleration force

    To maintain a low earth orbit, you'll be travelling at something like 27,700 km/h (orbital velocity of the ISS). Deorbiting basically involves dropping into the atmosphere at just a little less than this speed.

    Free fall velocity of a skydiver (before they open the parachute) is about 200 km/h

    Somewhere between these two (a matter of minutes) you have to slow down by about 27,500 km/h. I can't be arsed doing the maths, but I would expect the G-forces are pretty similar to the ones experienced on the trip up.

  46. Ishkandar

    @Elmer Phud

    You Philistine !! Those are Bulgarian airbags !! They are a necessary, nay, essential, part of the safety precautions (in case they land in enemy territory).

  47. spiny norman

    Royal we

    >>For the benefit of those readers who happen to be our wife, we'd like to note that we had no personal contact with any of them.

    Either there was a multi-person, all-male Reg team on this assignment, in which case it should be "our wives", or this is a lone reporter attempting to imply some kind of phony group responsibility for his exploits and coming up horribly short grammatically.

    I've never quite understood why a single reporter commenting on his/her own experience can't use the first person singular like the rest of us.

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