The $150 Space Camera: MIT Students Beat NASA On Beer-Money Budget

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by iMacattack, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. iMacattack

    iMacattack busy, too busy


    Bespoke is old hat. Off-the-shelf is in. Even Google runs the world’s biggest and scariest server farms on computers home-made from commodity parts. DIY is cheaper and often better, as Justin Lee and Oliver Yeh found out when they decided to send a camera into space.

    The two students (from MIT, of course) put together a low-budget rig to fly a camera high enough to photograph the curvature of the Earth. Instead of rockets, boosters and expensive control systems, they filled a weather balloon with helium and hung a styrofoam beer cooler underneath to carry a cheap Canon A470 compact camera. Instant hand warmers kept things from freezing up and made sure the batteries stayed warm enough to work.
  2. tom_in_orl

    tom_in_orl Founder of Microskiff, Member of the Gheenoe Army

    I read that. They made it up to 17.5 miles. What I found interesting was that they did not need FAA approval because their balloon was carrying less than 4 lbs. :eek:

  3. HaMm3r

    HaMm3r Well-Known Member

    I read this the other day and thought it was an incredible story. In fact, my kid has to do a science project for school, and I wanted to do this, but it got rejected because there weren't enough measurements and comparisons involved. :mad: I don't know about you, I think comparing how cool his experiment is next to everyone else's is enough for me! ;D ;)