MIT Students Take Pictures from Space on $150 Budget. | INFJ Forum

MIT Students Take Pictures from Space on $150 Budget.

Discussion in 'News and Politics' started by Naxx, Sep 14, 2009.

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  1. Naxx

    Naxx Permanent Fixture

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    "Two MIT students have successfully photographed the earth from space on a strikingly low budget of $148. Perhaps more significantly, they managed to accomplish this feat using components available off-the-shelf to the average layperson, opening the doors for a new generation of amateur space enthusiasts. The pair plan to launch again soon and hope that their achievements will inspire teachers and students to pursue similar endeavors.

    Justin Lee and Oliver Yeh have always dreamed of seeing the earth from space, but until recently, they believed that they had neither the budget nor the technical expertise to get a camera into the stratosphere.
    Early September, in a moment of creative inspiration, the pair devised an innovative low-cost, low-effort method for space photography. The device they created cost less than $150, and they were able to build it without any significant modifications to out-of-the-box electronics.

    The secret behind their success was figuring out which consumer-ready components to pick-and-match to solve the problems space photographers face. Their device had to: rise to an altitude high enough to capture space photographs, withstand extreme temperatures of the stratosphere, and be trackable/recoverable.

    The students knew that helium-filled weather balloons were capable of reaching altitudes of 20+ miles, high enough to photograph the curvature of the earth. Weather balloons were also relatively inexpensive; a 300g latex balloon can be ordered online for $20 and can be filled with helium at a party store for $30. If they could keep their camera device light, then a 300g balloon would have enough lift to carry their device into the upper stratosphere.

    Temperatures in the stratosphere can get as low as -55
     
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  2. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    LOL!!! This was AWESOME! And to think I nearly missed the article...

    Thanks for posting it, Naxx!

    *Runs to read more about the intrepid explorers.*
     
  3. Sithious

    Sithious Well-known member

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    call me stupid, but how did they make the camera take pictures when it was in "space"?

    A timer? Remote controll?
     
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  4. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    It's simple enough to make a camera automatically take a picture every few minutes. It can be done with both digital and analog cameras.
     
  5. OP
    Naxx

    Naxx Permanent Fixture

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    Satya is most likely right on this.
     
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  6. NaeturVindur

    NaeturVindur Cuddlemaster
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    so... timer.
     
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  7. Duty

    Duty Permanent Fixture

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    That...

    is too cool.

    Don't be surprised if I try it and post my pictures here in a few months. :D
     
  8. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    [QUOTE=N
     
  9. jlynnr

    jlynnr Community Member

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    bah! we did that in my astronomy class. it involved weather balloons and two cheapo video cameras.

    it was pretty sweet :) except one of the cameras froze halfway up. the one pointed at the ground still worked though.
     
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