Homebrew Space Photography

About a week ago, San Francisco hackerspace Noisebridge launched its own space program, Spacebridge.

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the hackerspace Noisebridge, our ongoing mission to explore strange (yet economically priced) new ascent technologies; to seek out new parts and new partnerships; to boldly go where no non-government-or-massively-industrially-funded-group has gone before.

They sent a weather balloon to nearly 70,000 feet equipped with two cameras for photo/video and a T-Mobile G1 for recording data using its GPS and accelerometer.

The video recorded by the balloon is somewhat interesting (and extremely nauseating), but the photographs taken by the balloon at the “edge of space” are quite breathtaking:

Someone should manufacture a “Space Photography Kit” so we can all do our own launches. Recovering the balloon afterwards might be quite a hassle though.

(via Laughing Squid)

Image credit: IMG_0125.JPG by longobord

  • Andreas T.

    Several months ago, two kids from MIT in Cambridge MA, did this for a cost of a few hundred dollars… They went high enough to capture the curvature of the earth, and the balloon landed fairly close (at least within Massachusetts) to their location.

    Apparently anyone can do it. I am not going to get into the differences in quality, etc., but it has been proven doable.

  • Andreas T.

    Oh yeah. And I have a question here… How can aircraft flying in the path of this contraption know to avoid it? I mean do you want to be flying a two turbine craft at an altitude of a mile and find out that one of the turbines went gaga because it sucked up some geek's contraption?

  • Michael Zhang

    I actually had the same question. After a little Googling, it appears that in the US you can launch weather balloons whenever you want as long as they meet size and weight guidelines… Not sure though.

    If anyone knows, please fill us in! :-)