Four Spanish students put together an inexpensive digital camera with some smartly hacked-together electronics and sent them all into near-orbit to snap some images of Earth from above. From the Telegraph, via Boing Boing:
Building the electronic sensor components from scratch, Gerard Marull Paretas,
Sergi Saballs Vila, Marta Gasull Morcillo and Jaume Puigmiquel Casamort
managed to send their heavy duty £43 latex balloon to the edge of space and
take readings of its ascent.
Created by the four students under the guidance of teacher Jordi Fanals Oriol,
the budding scientists, all aged 18-19, followed the progress of their
balloon using high tech sensors communicating with Google Earth.
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."
First, how awesome is that? I’m so thrilled every time I see a story like this, where science buffs can assemble over-the-counter equipment into something that takes us to the very edge of our world. Even cooler – their assembly, launch, and space pictures are on Flickr! Click through to the Extended Post to see the slideshow!
Second, ever dreamed of trying it yourself? Well, consider this a teaser: we may very well soon be hosting a contest to do something just like this. Stay tuned, and start thinking big!
(special thanks to reader Ramone for pointing this one out to us)