Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 12:07PM
Two MIT students built a $150 space camera, launched it into the stratosphere on a helium balloon and captured amazing views of Earth from space.
Oliver Yeh, an MIT senior studying computer science and electrical engineering, and Justin Lee, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, sent the camera up, along with a cell phone with GPS capabilities, from Sturbridge, Mass. They tracked its location through the GPS app and retrieved the camera 20 miles away in Worcester.
* A used Canon A470:$40, programmed to take a picture every five seconds.
* A Motorola i290 prepaid cell phone, programmed to constantly report its GPS location via text message.
* A cooler to hold contents
* Newspaper for insulation
* $5 instant hand warmers to keep the instrumentation and batteries from freezing
* A weather balloon filled with helium from a rented tank
Capturing stunning pictures of the blue glow of the Earth against the blackness of space: Priceless!
They posted instructions and details of their project at http://space.1337arts.com.
I'm dying to try this for myself!