Welcome To the Future – You Can Snap Photos of Space for $150


This is truly rad:

Via New Scientist

On 2 September, MIT students Oliver Yeh, Justin Lee, and Eric Newton launched a 350-gram (0.8-pound), helium-filled weather balloon from a field in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. The balloon carried a used 7.1-megapixel camera — purchased on Amazon.com — that was programmed to take pictures every 5 seconds.

After four hours, the balloon reached its peak altitude, an estimated 28,350 metres above the Earth’s surface. At this height, the curvature of the Earth was just visible.

Earlier in 2009, a team of Spanish students launched a €1000 balloon-borne probe that made it to 30,480 metres using a bigger balloon. Larger balloons have more room to expand before breaking as the pressure of the atmosphere decreases with altitude.

[check out the entire gallery @ new scientist]