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Teens take pics from edge of space with a balloon Answered

With a latex balloon, a camera, and some home-built electronics, four teens in Spain managed to get pictures from 20 miles up!

The balloon was inflated with helium, the camera and electronics were attached and away it went up to 100,000 feet before it popped and returned to earth. The camera was still snapping away when the students picked it up 10km from the launch site.

Team leader Gerard Marull, 18, said: "We were overwhelmed at our results, especially the photographs, to send our handmade craft to the edge of space is incredible."

Completing their landmark experiment on February, the Meteotek team had to account for a wide variety of variables and rely on a lot of luck.

"The balloon we chose was inflated with helium to just over two metres and weighed just 1500 grams," said Gerard. "It was able to carry the sensor equipment and digital Nikon camera which weighed 1.5kg.

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Discussions

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crestind

9 years ago

Saw it on Wired. MIT people always making cool stuff.

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kelseymh

9 years ago

Bump It sure took a while, but CNN picked up this story, and even had a quote from Eric!

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r3ckless007

9 years ago

was the camera encased in some type of case or protective covering? and a parachute would be lost very quickly and float hundreds of miles away. and a transmitter would be very powerful to transmite twenty miles in the air and to the edge of space.

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yourcat

9 years ago

I saw this on the sparkfun front page.

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CameronSS

9 years ago

That reminds me, I did a project similar to this a couple years ago...a group with which I went to Kennedy Space Center designed and built a similar balloon. We never tried to recover it, but it transmitted live video feed back to us, and we each went home with a DVD of it. I should rip that and upload it sometime...

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CameronSSCameronSS

Reply 9 years ago

This was a good excuse, finally got around to it.


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LinuxH4x0rCameronSS

Reply 9 years ago

This is what I was talking about a few days ago. Very impressive!

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VALDUCCI

9 years ago

How cool is that? Way cool! Hmmm, answered my own question.

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bowmaster

9 years ago

Dang!! This is awesome!

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_soapy_

9 years ago

A few things aren't mentioned here. How did they get a no-fly zone and permission from air traffic control? How did they work out it would go such a small horizontal distance? Was it running on the GSM network and a digital camera? GPS module and a transmitter? Or a fancy mobile phone? Or what? You can get these balloons for cheap, I got one and inflated it to about 6 feet, then popped it with a laser. Good for a laugh at a party! Once popped, the balloon would be good for a bit of drag, but I would think they used a drogue chute. A proper 'chute would have drifted miles and miles away, not 10Km away. In short, we need more details!! Please.

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Kiteman

9 years ago

I emailed JP Aerospace about launching a PongSat mission ages ago - still no reply, but this topic has reminded me to chase it up, thanks.

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lemonie

9 years ago

Face peering through the clouds? (Had to go back tho the original Image, no UFOs...) L

DSCN2309.bmp
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blugybluglemonie

Reply 9 years ago

Please dont say that looks like Jesus...(So many random things that are supposed to look like Jesus on the internet) It actually looks like a gorilla. Haha, you can see anything in the clouds these days.

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christophorblugyblug

Reply 9 years ago

Wow! It's clearly not Jesus. It looks more like a Rhesus Monkey in a powdered wig.

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lemonieblugyblug

Reply 9 years ago

"you can see anything in the clouds these days" Yes, you can. L

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fwjs28lemonie

Reply 9 years ago

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! it does look like a face OHMYGOSH!

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lemoniefwjs28

Reply 9 years ago

Easily done. I didn't have the patience to go through the entire Flickr set looking for UFOs, but someone might...? L

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fwjs28lemonie

Reply 9 years ago

wow...thats scary...did you photoshop it (or GIMP it) ?

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lemoniefwjs28

Reply 9 years ago

I used PhotoShop to enlarge the image and enhance the contrast - If you look at the original image it is there. L

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fwjs28lemonie

Reply 9 years ago

a-ha! i see...well...hrmm...ok !

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Lftndbt

9 years ago

WoW!! I'm surprised they balloon only traveled 10km's from the launch site.

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kelseymh

9 years ago

That's extraordinary. A great demonstration of just how far you can realistically go with homebrew equipment and determination.

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Spl1nt3rC3ll

9 years ago

...

I think my mind just blew...

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fwjs28Spl1nt3rC3ll

Reply 9 years ago

we need a fish bowl and a mop and... HEY! your brain is popped yet you can still type....hmm seems normal...i thought something err...abnormal might happen after such a tragic event

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flatcurveNachoMahma

Reply 9 years ago

How did they get the camera back? this is lacking some details...

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n8manflatcurve

Reply 9 years ago

Probably had a parachute as backup for after the balloon popped, or the camera survived the fall.

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Doctor Whatflatcurve

Reply 9 years ago

In the article: "...sensors communicating with Google Earth." "At over 100,000ft the balloon lost its inflation and the equipment was returned to the earth.

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Doctor What

9 years ago

Awesome. Just plain awesome.