Vulture 1, the first paper airplane launched into space

I'm lucky if I can get a paper airplane to stay up for five seconds, but a British team from The Register website has plans to launch a paper plane into space...sort of.

Vulture 1 will be carried aloft by a weather balloon to an altitude of 66,000-ft, then released automatically to begin its descent to Earth. As it descends, a miniature camera will record the trip, while a GPS locator will let the team track its path. Meanwhile, the balloon will continue ascending until it bursts at around 100,000-ft, dropping the main payload box containing additional cameras and tracking systems.

The launch dubbed PARIS (paper aircraft released into space) was planned for Saturday in Spain, but has been postponed by a day due to bad weather and some kind of problem with their chase vehicle. Once they do get aloft, you will be able to follow Vulture 1's progress over at The Register's website.

This all sounds like fun, but does it really count as a space launch? 66,000-ft is barely higher than most intercontinental jet flights, and even 100,000-ft is well short of the 80-km (262,000-ft) normally considered to be the start of space.

Via The Register

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