Paper Aircraft Released Into Space

Paper Aircraft Released Into Space

The PARIS (Paper Aircraft Released Into Space) project was a privately-organised endeavour undertaken by various staff members of the information technology web site The Register to design, build, test, and launch a lightweight aerospace vehicle, constructed mostly of paper and similar structural materials, into the mid-stratosphere and recover it intact. Staffers at The Register, inspired by the CU Spaceflight Nova 1 project, formally announced their intention to initiate a project of their own on 30 July 2009.[1] The aircraft's name was selected by polling The Register's readership, and was subsequently dubbed Vulture 1 (in reference to The Register's own nickname "Vulture Central").[2]

The use of the word "space" in the project's name refers to "near space," not "outer space," since it was not planned for the vehicle to ascend to an altitude above the Kármán line (the "boundary" of outer space, defined by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale as 100 km (62 mi) above the Earth's surface[3]); it is nevertheless a project that is closely related to the concept of private spaceflight.

Lester Haines, Special Projects Editor (Iberian Bureau) at The Register, as part of his reporting on CU Spaceflight's Nova 1 mission[4] in 2006,[5] and at the behest of Nova team member Carl Morland, mused that "El Reg might like to contribute something" as a payload to a future high-altitude balloon project, and invited the online magazine's readership to make suggestions as to what kind of payload package should be designed and built.[6] After languishing for a few years in limbo, the balloon payload project was resurrected in July, 2009 as PARIS, an acronym for Paper Aircraft Released Into Space, the payload type having been decided sometime earlier.[when?]

The paper plane was successfully launched on October 28, 2010.[7] The Register is now working on PARIS' successor, named LOHAN (short for "Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator", a balloon-launched rocket-powered aircraft.[8]


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