Thursday, 24 June 2010

The incredible pictures from the edge of space - taken with a £30 digital camera attached to a balloon

The incredible pictures from the edge of space - taken with a £30 digital camera attached to a balloon

Read more:


They look like pictures taken from the International Space Station. Or at least from an expensive satellite launched by a major superpower.

But amateur astro-snapper Colin Rich got these incredible space pictures by flying his very own £30 camera to the edge of space - taped to a balloon.

While NASA spends hundreds of millions of pounds each year on their high tech satellites, the 27-year-old managed to capture views of our planet from an amazing 125,000 feet (24 miles) up on a digital camera purchased on Ebay.

Freelance cinematographer Colin encased a five-year-old digital camera in Styrofoam casing wrapped in duct-tape and floated it up into the planet's stratosphere on a weather balloon.

Carrying a Canon Powershot A560 that he bought online, the digital camera was encased inside a Styrofoam rectangle tied up with duct-tape.

'It was very amateur but of course that is half the fun,' he said. He has been launching weather balloons into the upper atmosphere since March.

He added: 'The Styrofoam casing protected the camera from the cold and enabled it to carry on shooting video and taking pictures on the timer I had programmed

'Rising at a steady rate of around 17 knots per minute, the balloon took around one and a half hours to reach the stratosphere - the area where the Earth's atmosphere stops and space begins.

'By the time the balloon reached 125,000 feet it had expanded by over seven times to around 24 feet.

'Then it would have burst, the parachute would have deployed and then of course we would go and recover the Styrofoam casing.'

Landing 20 miles from the launch site, the Pacific Star's flight time was a little over two and a half hours and cost only £500 in total.

'We tracked the balloon using a GPS device similar to satellite navigation you use in your car called 'The Spot',' said Colin.

'Me and my colleague William were delighted with the results.

'Obviously we will be moving onto number three, which is going to go higher and take higher quality pictures.

Read more:

No comments: