Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Project Icarus

I was browsing through my online reading lists for the day (this replaced newspapers every morning), and encountered this article through Yahoo.

I was like, wow. Just wow. Now kids who have a knack with space and astronomy will have a chance to feel it.

This is a story about three MIT students who launched a $150 or less photography equipment to near space. They blew up a helium-filled balloon, strapped a beer cooler under it, with a Motorola digicam with 8 gig memory card, and a cellphone that served as a tracking device.

Taking pictures of space, or at least the earth's curves (Oohh la la), is not a new concept to professionals and students alike. It's just that, with new technologies coming in, they forgot what was essential.

"I would like to reiterate that high-altitude balloon photography has been around for a LONG time. (decades, probably) What is special about what we’ve done is our low budget and ease of assembly/creation."

The balloon reached 17.5 miles (around 90,000 feet) high up in the atmosphere, dropped back to earth five hours later within the Massachusetts state.

I don't know about you, but I find this really cool.


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