Courtesy of text message to Chris Evans on Radio 2 this morning... "to bold-lego where no-one has gone before..."
Made me smile anyhoo!
A couple of Canadian teenagers have staked their country's claim on the upper atmosphere by sending a flag-waving Legonaut to 80,000ft (24,384m). Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, both 17, spent 400 Canadian bucks putting together their high altitude package: three stills cameras, one video camera and a GPS-enabled mobile phone …
Its interesting they achieved 80,000ft but I wish the article had some comparisons with previous efforts. So I looked it up. :)
PARIS achieved around 90000ft (I had trouble finding this info, (hint, hint, Reg), so in the end, I found the info on the BBC! :)
MIT's Project Icarus achieved around 92400ft
Also as a comparison, the Kármán line defines outer space around 327360ft (or 100 km or 62 miles).
So here's hoping LOHAN can achieve at least 100000ft :)
Chris W all I was saying (as this is a site with a lot of readers interested in science) that it would have been nice to include some more numbers in the article, which is a statement which still remains true regardless of what you say.
As for finding which of the previous 64 PARIS articles had the actual figures in them, a quick Google gave me the BBC article with a near enough estimate to satisfy my curiosity, but still it would have been nice to have some more figures in the news article itself.
No. You said you had trouble finding information on this site and had to go looking elsewhere, now you say you just googled the information. Either way, I don't think it unreasonable of the readership of El Reg to not require repetition of data in every article especially when the PARIS project has it's own section. Science -> PARIS from the menu at the top, it's even easier because in this article the Science sub-menu is already expanded to show PARIS. And the "PARIS joins the 17-mile-high club" title is a bit of a giveaway as to what might be inside.
How much leading by the hand do you need?
In addition the article is about some students launching a legoman to high altitude. There was no mention of a direct comparison between this and the achievment of PARIS so no need to provide figures. As you yourself said, it was curiosity on your part, so your hint that the information should be there just when you need it was irrational.
Come on El Reg, this is your chance to trounce MIT. To hell with the beer budget, buy some extra rocket motors and send Lohan on a multi stage lift. You know she's worth it. Her PR flacks might even have her light the blue touch paper for the publicity it would bring. It wouldn't do the Reg any harm either.
PS. The icon is Lindsay Lohan isn't it?
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Now that the totemic space race is on, its time to pull out the big guns and put GI Joe into the troposphere. Or you could declare your nefarious designs to dominate mankind from on high and send up a Cobra Commander figurine.
Is there a Richard Branson action figure out there, with super money-grabbing grip? :)
So given the moaning and wailing about "not enough kids doing science", why aren't assorted Ministries of Education encouraging more schools to run projects like this if the budget can be brought down so far?!
Heck, taking a few tin cans around your local shops would probably get most of that together, and it could be a group effort for a class or after-hours school club. Plan, divide up workload, do the calculations, impress the governors/sponsors with the pics/vids afterwards... WIN!
Newmarket, Ontario, is about 20 kilometres north of Toronto so it would be in the realm of possibility that the USA will be demanding Canada hand over these would be terrorists if their device drifted across te border.
Perhaps these guys have inadvertently discovered a chink in the American security fence that protects it from real or imagined terrorists. What a hoot, that should make the Pentagon start a whole new multi-billion dollar program to detect and eliminate meteorological balloons.
Who knows, they might have to get new drones that can reach 90,000 feet so thay can shoot down balloon bombs from Canada.
You can see some scraps of the balloon having gone kablooie near the end of the video. It's just one datapoint, but from this one it appears that you don't have to take special precautions (like donut-shaped balloons, swinging arms or platforms on top) to allow the rocket to fire straight up at this point. The only thing you need to do is stabilise the launch platform along its vertical axis, and rig a trigger to detect loss of pull from the balloon cord.
"Perhaps these guys have inadvertently discovered a chink in the American security fence that protects it from real or imagined terrorists. What a hoot, that should make the Pentagon start a whole new multi-billion dollar program to detect and eliminate meteorological balloons."
Been done, I think you'll find, by the Japanese during WW2 - sending balloons to drop explosives on the US, that is.
These days the US claims it's got all bases covered ... mind you they thought that when Pearl Harbour happened by.
The big difference is that Canada is adjacent to the States and the fleet of drones keeping an eye on those marijuana smoking, beer swilling Canadians only fly around 60,000 feet (if my memory serves me correctly).
Canadians also have the jet stream going for them, if you want to fly a balloon over the States, already the Land of the Mounties supplies 50% of what's needed for tornadoes and US weather forecasters always blame 'the cold air from Canada' whenever it gets cold in Florida.
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