Saturday, October 9, 2010

Father and Son Team Send Up Camera to Film Outer Space

Space officially begins at 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the earth's surface.  Getting there has mostly been the business of governments and large corporations, but increasingly private individuals have been getting into the space race inspired by things like the X Prize.

Take the father and son team of Luke and Max Geissbuhler, from Brooklyn, New York.  In August they sent aloft a small homemade camera pod equipped with an iPhone and GPS, to allow tracking and recovery, by using a 19-inch weather balloon.  The balloon carried the camera pod to an elevation of nearly 30 kilometer (19 miles) before it burst due to pressure differences causing the balloon to expand.  The pod parachuted back to earth, landing in a tree a mere 30 miles from its launching point.  They didn't quite make it into space, but they made a good effort of it and the video they created from their recorded footage is a great watch.

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