Insights Blog

Houston – We Don’t Have A Problem. Pratchett Test Mission Is Complete.

Exasol is a proud sponsor of El Reg’s Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN, yes as in Lindsay) mission. The goal – a project brought to you from The Register’s Special Projects Bureau – is to launch a 3D printed rocket into space. We were excited to watch the progress of the final avionics test flight put on by Edge Research Laboratory in the US. Named the PRATCHETT mission in honour of Terry Pratchett, the test flight was conducted last week weekend. The aim of this precursory mission was to send the Vulture 2 avionics package 27,700 metres into the sky to work out if the kit – batteries, servos, digital airspeed sensor – could handle the extremely cold conditions.

A previous test flight showed that the batteries in particular did not take kindly to the extremities of this altitude, so this test was designed to help ease the sleepless nights of the LOHAN team.

At 19:30 GMT on the 13th June, the test rig left Earth and reached 101,912 feet altitude before bursting and falling back down to Earth. This video of the PRATCHETT mission is definitely worth a watch. It’s got some glorious footage looking down on the Earth from 27,700 metres.

Of course, we’re delighted to be sponsoring the 3D Rocket launch. After all, the launch needs performance and that’s what Exasol is all about, so watch this space! Here’s Exasol’s Guy Lipscombe discussing the mission on CNN back in October last year.

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