DIY weather-balloon photos of space

September 22, 2009

Three MIT students send a camera 17 miles up into near-space and snap photos of the curvature of the Earth, all for less than $150:

All of the parts they used are commonly available. Yeh and Lee bought a Canon camera on eBay and then fastened it inside a Styrofoam cooler. A hole poked in the side of the container let the camera lens gaze out into space, and they attached a Motorola Boost cell phone to the camera so it would send GPS coordinates back to Earth.

A wireless router was hooked up to the mobile phone to give it the extra antenna power needed to send the coordinates down. And the students taped a hand warmer — the kind skiers put in their gloves — to the mobile phone’s battery so it wouldn’t freeze.

 

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