Guy Sends Camera Up 100k Feet To Photograph Space (And Gets It Back Safely)
from the nicely-done dept
With the recent fighting over NASA funding, a lot more interest has been put on private space flights by companies like SpaceX (and, indeed, the new funding bill encourages NASA to make more use of such efforts). But it's neat to see that you don't have to be a company or the government to at least launching something that gets a good ways up towards space (if not really that close to the border). One guy named Luke Geissbuhler (with his kids and some friends) launched a video camera 100,000 feet into the air connected to a weather balloon. The video is amazing (or if you don't have the time to watch the whole thing, beneath that, there's a still shot from the apex:
As Geissbuhler notes in the video:
In August 2010, we set out to send a camera to space.
The mission was to attach a HD video camera to a weather balloon and send it up into the upper stratosphere to film the blackness beyond our earth.
Eventually, the balloon will grow from lack of atmospheric pressure, burst, and begin to fall.
It would have to survive 100 mph winds, temperatures of 60 degrees below zero, speeds of over 150 mph, and the high risk of a water landing.
To retrieve the craft, it would need to deploy a parachute, descend through the clouds and transmit a GPS coordinate to a cell phone tower.
Then we have to find it.
Needless to say, there are a lot of variables to overcome.
The results are impressive, to say the least. Of course, if you want to quibble, 100,000 feet really isn't space. Some would argue it's not even that close to space (though, the images sure are impressive), but to those who are quibbling: how high have you launched an HD camera via a balloon and then retrieved it?