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Teens Launch Balloon into Space, Take Pictures for Less than $100

Who needs NASA? Spending less than it costs to take an airplane ride, a handful of industrious Spanish students sent a balloon 100,000 feet into space, tracking it by radio signal via Google Earth.
From 20 miles above the Earth's surface, their handmade spacecraft took compelling photographs of the planet from above which they recovered when they found the landed balloon just over five miles from where they launched it.
The pupils' incredible school science project has already caught the attention of the University of Wyoming in the US, and the Meteotek team keep those interested updated with regular blogs and updates to their Twitter feed.

link

Wow, very impressive. I'd love more detail, though. Especially on how the thing works, and the whole descent factor. Using Google Earth was smart, but how did it descend slow enough to survive impact?
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I agree with Johnny Cat. Need more details, and oh yes, how about more than one picture ??? Where are the "compelling" pictures ?

Randy
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Good for them. But hams have been doing this for years...
http://www.eoss.org/ansrecap/ar_131/recap135.htm
for example. And yes, you do need to get FAA approval and let them know when you launch.
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On that ham site they seem to have only sent the balloon 5000 feet up, as opposed to 100,000 by these students.

However it does look like there are precedents.

http://www.natrium42.com/halo/flight2/

that site is pretty interesting too. I think perhaps the cost involved here is probably the major improvement, but I'm guessing they probably just had to cross their fingers and hope the camera took some god shots.
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It's a pretty impressive bit of work. Well done, "kids". This particular quote caught my eye:

"At over 100,000ft the balloon lost its inflation and the equipment was returned to the earth."

Now there's a euphemism!
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I have the same white car. I just need a ballon and a camera now ;)

It looks much more complicated than reading the blog entry. Those guys did a pretty good tech job.
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I know of a high school class in Germany that did this a year or more ago following seeing some middle age American suburbanites do it HERE on neatorama.
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