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Space Toys United Kingdom Science Idle

Paper Airplane Touches Edge of Space, Glides Back 158

Posted by timothy
from the face-of-god-next-step dept.
itwbennett writes "Brits Steve Daniels, John Oates and Lester Haines just became the envy of geeks the world over. The trio 'built a one-wing glider from paper, lofted it to the edge of space at 90,000 feet with a helium balloon, and posted sound and video recordings from the plane as it glided safely back to the ground,' writes blogger Kevin Fogarty. The Register newspaper sponsored the stunt and reported each step of the process. And British defense-contractor Qinetiq supplied the cameras and testing chambers, says Fogarty."
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Paper Airplane Touches Edge of Space, Glides Back

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  • DUDE! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by cryoman23 (1646557) on Friday November 12, 2010 @11:22PM (#34213278)
    that is just down right cool
  • by John Hasler (414242) on Friday November 12, 2010 @11:33PM (#34213332) Homepage

    Cheat.

  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Friday November 12, 2010 @11:35PM (#34213344) Homepage
    It seems the new cool thing is to take stuff up high in a balloon and drop it. I must say I'd love to do it too, but it doesn't seem very newsworthy anymore.
  • Re:$13,000 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by c6gunner (950153) on Friday November 12, 2010 @11:50PM (#34213432)

    That is "homegrown". Some hobbyists spend that much building a single RC-aircraft. Get together with 5 or 6 like-minded friends, and you can put together a similar project no problem.

  • Re:DUDE! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Friday November 12, 2010 @11:52PM (#34213440)

    Yes. That is damn cool. The naysayers and nitpickers will swarm on this story soon enough. But it's still cool.

    It was absolutely frickin' badass... the first ten times. Now it's just plain getting old. Hey look, someone used a weather balloon and sent it up into the atmosphere. Hey wow, someone uses a balloon and sent it up into the atmosphere, and THIS TIME it was a father and son. Whoa, look, someone used a balloon and sent it up into the atmosphere, and THIS TIME it has a glider made of paper! Really I'm at the edge of my seat, but it's getting repetitive.

    Now I know where I am. This is Slashdot (say it like King Leonitus and kick something if you need to). It's nothing to be ashamed of, but Slashdotters have a problem. After seeing the ten millionth repetition of "in Soviet Russia" or "sharks with lasers" and modding it up to +5 Funny for the 9 trillionth time, they have a very hard time admitting when something has gotten old and it's time to move on. (Someone is tempted to reply with one of those memes thinking "hah, that'll fix him, he'll NEVER see this coming!")

    Now, no one's judging anyone here. Some people are alcoholics, others have to wash their hands eight hundred times a day, while others still are just plain not nice. In the scheme of things never admitting that something is old and repetitive and redundant is pretty tame. I understand that. I'm just sayin', maybe the Slashdot crowd isn't in the best position to realize that it's OK to stop beating the dead horse. The guy who points out that the dead horse is not only dead, but also embedded in the ground, starting to decay, and really starting to smell -- well, that guy might seem like a naysayer or a nitpicker to you. That's only natural.

    Just don't be too harsh on that guy. He may be trying to help you appreciate objectivity.

  • by SixDimensionalArray (604334) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @12:21AM (#34213538)

    I would hope that we would rather consider the meaning of the fact that the general public has an interest in reaching space again, and by doing it themselves. Sure, maybe a balloon to the upper reaches of the atmosphere is not anywhere close to launching an Atlas rocket, but I for one am glad that people are still dreaming, and experimenting!

  • Re:Jet streams? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sznupi (719324) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @12:22AM (#34213544) Homepage

    A bit similarly to how you can, in fact, breathe inside a speeding bullet-train or an airplane. Speed relative to the ground isn't everything...

  • by beav007 (746004) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @12:26AM (#34213562) Journal
    Actually, I'd prefer not only to see it happen more often, but striving for higher, and better. Competitions, and most of all, kids involved.

    Experiments are a great way to get people interested in science. We don't need to see it reported all the time, but it would be great to see the concept continued and expanded upon.
  • Re:Jet streams? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sznupi (719324) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @12:50AM (#34213668) Homepage

    Do you really think it's a wall of speeding air, without quite gentle (especially for a very small object) transition?... (plus, think: dainty balloons survive it routinely - in fact, the story mentions one)

  • Newspaper? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rueger (210566) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @12:51AM (#34213670) Homepage
    I am more than a bit astonished that Slashdot eds, much less the poster would refer to El Reg [theregister.co.uk] as a "newspaper."

    Do none of these people honestly know that The Register is one long lived, entertaining, and generally informative tech web site, and that it was the creator of the ever popular and true to life adventures of BOFH? [theregister.co.uk]

    Oh right, their URL ends with .co.uk, so they're not Amurrican....
  • Re:DUDE! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jamesh (87723) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @12:56AM (#34213688)

    I think that a day doesn't go by when someone sees a "Soviet Russia", "sharks with lasers", etc meme for the first time. I discovered the joy of "all your base" many years after everyone else. And all three of those, when done well, still give me a smile.

    You speak of the 'Slashdot crowd' like we all joined at the same time and we're all the same age and of the same background but it's simply not true. It's not even a valid generalisation.

    And the fact that someone modded something funny means that they enjoyed reading it enough to give it a mod point. And that's how this thing works. Don't be a back seat moderator. You use your mod points on whatever the hell you want and let everyone else do the same.

    Now i'm not judging anyone here, but you're all idiots :p

  • Re:DUDE! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @01:31AM (#34213780)

    You speak of the 'Slashdot crowd' like we all joined at the same time and we're all the same age and of the same background but it's simply not true. It's not even a valid generalisation.

    The concept you're missing is called "gestalt". It's not quite the same thing as a generalization. If you don't want to appreciate that, then you won't, and that's not really my concern. Incidentally I used the repetitive memes as a lighthearted analogy. The subject of my post was the overabundance of "balloons floating" stories out there. Deliberately or accidentally, you missed that.

    And the fact that someone modded something funny means that they enjoyed reading it enough to give it a mod point. And that's how this thing works. Don't be a back seat moderator. You use your mod points on whatever the hell you want and let everyone else do the same.

    Me writing a post to try and point something out does not prevent anyone with mod points from using those points as they see fit. It's possible I might pursuade someone to reconsider how they moderate, but only if they want to be persuaded. If they don't agree with me then they will moderate however they please no matter what I say.

    I will use my own mod points however the hell I want, I always have, this isn't your idea, and I really don't care whether you approve. Likewise, I am not preventing anyone else from doing the same. Other mods don't need me to "let" them do anything. I am not their master. Meanwhile you're just upset that I might convince them of something you dislike and you veil that quite thinly. That's frankly not my problem. Worrying about this is beneath you, and if it isn't, it should be.

    Oh, one more thing. By your very own standard there, several moderators found my comment "Insightful". They enjoyed reading it enough to give it a mod point. And that's how this thing works, or so I've recently heard. I'm sure you can demonstrate the "use your mod points on whatever the hell you want" portion of your little philosophy there. Can you model for me the part about "let everyone else do the same"? Or do you feel a need to complain about that when it doesn't go the way you like?

  • by Anynomous Coward (841063) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @02:00PM (#34216344)
    Sure, they might be interested in space, for very low values of interested and very low values of space. Frankly it looks like mankind reached a pinnacle 50 years ago, and now is going nowhere fast with the general public being happy with mediocre non-original results.

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"

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