DIY space photos

stratosphereThis is really neat, via Slashdot, some Spanish students have sent a camera on a balloon up into the stratosphere, with excellent results:

Taking atmospheric readings and photographs 20 miles above the ground, the Meteotek team of IES La Bisbal school in Catalonia completed their incredible experiment at the end of February this year.

Building the electronic sensor components from scratch, Gerard Marull Paretas, Sergi Saballs Vila, Marta­ Gasull Morcillo and Jaume Puigmiquel Casamort managed to send their heavy duty £43 latex balloon to the edge of space and take readings of its ascent.

Read and see more here.

[from the Telegraph, via Slashdot]

3 thoughts on “DIY space photos”

  1. Can you lift a rocket to the stratosphere with a balloon and then launch it? Would it allow sufficient effective weight? What would be gains?

  2. I think when it comes to getting into actual orbit as opposed to the top of the stratosphere speed is important. If you hauled a rocket up it would still have to reach escape velocity. It would be quite high up so I suppose there might be a reduction in gravitational field strength. Dunno how much that might contribute.

    There’s a lot on non-rocket space launch on this Wikipedia page.

  3. Calculate the *air resistance* of the lowest 10 kilometers of the atmosphere. This drag is a significant problem in acquiring speed fast enough to accelerate upwards to escape velocity. Lift up a rocket by a balloon to an altitude of 40 kilometers, and get it accelerating almost instantly at 20G – speed versus atmospheric drag will be substantially less. Yet – I have no clue to calculate how much this will safe in terms of money.

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