back to article Premature balloon burst thwarts US paper spaceplane attempt

The University of Southern Indiana has failed to wrest the highest launch of a paper plane crown from our Vulture 1 spaceplane, after suffering premature balloon burst. The Geronimo aircraft (pictured below) was carried aloft under a mighty meteorological globe from Marion High School in Marion, Illinois, on Saturday morning, …


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  1. Pen-y-gors

    No pilot?

    Bound to fail without a heroic playmonaut on board.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    clearly the reg SPB is a secret government funded black helicopter outfit

    clearly such an audacious mission and record could only be accomplished with state backing and expert design resources...

    This latest amateur attempt is a a clear indicator...


    1. wowfood

      Re: clearly the reg SPB is a secret government funded black helicopter outfit

      It does sound suspiciously like sabotage on the part of el reg.

      The nose falls off the craft, The trackers falling off, The balloon bursting below the desired height. All of these are plausible if they happened independently of one another, but all happening on the same launch? Sounds like a plan A / B / C situation.

      1. Code Monkey

        Re: clearly the reg SPB is a secret government funded black helicopter outfit


        "It does sound suspiciously like sabotage on the part of el reg."

        3rd rate American boffinry more like. I bet they didn't have a single pipe between the entire team.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "For some reason, the balloon burst"

    Did they consider attacks by vultures?

    Anon as you do when partaking acts of sabotage.

  4. Jim McDonald

    Confirm/Deny: Lester seen lurking around the rivals launch site with a large pin just before launch?

  5. Chris Miller

    Did Geronimo fail for lack of a decent backronym?

  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    "Our commiserations...."

    Yeah. Right. Are you holding a commiseration party?

    1. Laurie

      Re: "Our commiserations...."

      Of course they will. It's in the nature of these beer sodden hacks to get down the nearest boozer at any opportunity!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who will think of the children??

    A 300g device falling from a height will probably smart a bit if it hit you.

    In the land of the ambulance chasers (although blighty is a getting the same), that's a bit of risk. Lucky they've got plenty of space.

    1. The First Dave

      Re: Who will think of the children??

      Nah, the device is in-animate, and therefore would not feel a thing, and since all of the kids would have been wearing safety-helmets as mandated by their risk-assessment procedure, they would not have been hurt either.

  8. Jdoe1

    Elementary, my dear Watson

    Somebody miscalculated on how much helium to put in the balloon. And they forgot to poke a hole in the nosecone so that the trapped air could escape.

  9. Gordon 10

    Who Was their BOFH?

    Multiple system failures just tanatalising close to the El Reg record height - I know who Im looking at......

    I suspect that the rouge GPS unit found on Sunday had just recovered from a vigourous cattleprodding.

    1. Mike 68

      Re: Who Was their BOFH?

      I much prefer my GPS units bleu

      (I know it's just a typo, but I can't let it pass)

  10. Pirate Dave Silver badge


    I had a friend from Carmi, IL. Not much there but corn and bibles, so GPS units falling from Heaven would cause quite the stir...

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  12. Wibble
    Thumb Up


    Can we buy El Reg T-Shirts? Just the attire for a typical geek.

    Get to it...

    1. CaveatVenditor
      Thumb Up

      Re: T-Shirts

      @ Wibble

      The design must include a fake top pocket with multiple pens and pencils, some with those spiral spring clippy things.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Mysteriously all SPB research had recently been rerouted to.....

    creating a giant rubber band and paperclip!!

    El Reg does not easily share the limelight!!

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