The Vulture 1 paper space plane was launched on Oct. 28, 2010 as part of the Paper Aircraft Released In Space (PARIS) project, capturing amazing images of the Earth and space from almost 17 miles (27.3km, 89,591ft, 27,307m) up.

The space plane and its balloon launcher was designed and constructed by three space enthusiasts (Lester Haines, Steve Daniels and John Oates) associated with The Register, an online British technology publication. The plane itself, which has a 3ft (0.91m) wingspan, was constructed out of paper straws and stiff paper, painted orange and silver, with a tiny plastic pilot and some photos of Paris Hilton.

The launch site was 50miles outside Madrid, Spain, with the launch sanctioned by Spanish authorities, and the paper plane landed about 100 miles away. They also recovered the helium filled launch weather balloon with the paper plane support beam attached. The release occurred when the balloon burst 90 minutes after lift-off.

Though not quite making it to the edge of space (62 miles or 100kms), the project is very impressive, and cost an estimated ?8000 (US$12,880, €9,420) which also included some holiday time in Spain, along with some mission support beer, wine and meals.

Visit: www. theregister. co. uk

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