Video: The View from 100,000 Feet

by Nancy Atkinson on May 23, 2011

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter

I love these student projects that send a camera via a balloon high in the atmosphere to film the view of Earth below. Here’s another from a group of German students who were able to film in HD from an altitude of more than 100,000 ft. (30,480 meters). Enjoy the music, too.

“Our challenge was to survive ambient air pressures as low as 1/100th of an atmosphere, temperatures as low as -60°C and finally to locate and recover the Camera,” Tobias Lohf wrote UT. “We had a HD-Cam, GPS tracker and a heating pad on board, and all the construction had a total weight of about 1kg.”

The rest of the team included Marcel Dierig, Tobias Stodieck, Tristan Eggers and Marvin Rissiek and they hope to inspire other students to try the same project. “All you need need is a camera, weather balloon and Duct Tape,” they said.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Ted Judah May 23, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Dramatic music. Well put together video. I really want to try this.

Anonymous May 23, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Really enjoyed the flight! Especially when the ballon blew up. The curvature of the earth is spectaclar!

Anonymous May 23, 2011 at 3:30 PM

New generations of talented young will changed the future

Anonymous May 23, 2011 at 5:12 PM

don’t they come in path of commercial planes? 1 kg of mass is enough to cause damage to blades.

Torbjörn Larsson May 23, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Good point.

Yes, they do. And they don’t, there is no recorded weather balloon striking an airplane:

“There is a danger but experience shows it is extremely small.”

As for mass, 1 kg is not a certain damage:

“The energy of a 5 kg (11 lb) bird moving at a relative velocity of 275 km/h (171 mph) approximately equals the energy of a 100 kg (220 lb) weight dropped from a height of 15 metres (49 ft).[9] However, according to the FAA only 15% of strikes (ICAO 11%) actually result in damage to the aircraft.[citation needed]” [Wikipedia.]

The most hazardous phase seems to be take off, which presumably is not a factor here.

J. Major May 24, 2011 at 3:53 AM

Fantastic video….very dramatic!

Damian May 24, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Man, I really need to try this. Need some kind of gimbal attachment to stop the camera box swinging around so much.

Also, a second empty balloon attached via a pressure / altitude valve to the first one. (Helium expands until it bursts the balloon right?)
At around 60 Km however you would need to fire additional thrust, so I think hydrogen would be better, Small lox tank, and a way to light it all up.

I think the Record balloon altitude is just under 60km. :)

Anonymous May 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Now we need a manned flight. That reminds me, what happened to that Bumgarner (sp) guy who was going to skydive “from space”?

Edit: Grrrr lawyers:
http://newslite.tv/2010/10/13/skydive-from-space-canceled-af.html

Morten Andersen May 24, 2011 at 2:08 PM

If anyone had told us 25 years ago that in 2011 schoolboys would be making these kind of experiments, people would have told you, “No I don’t think that it will ever be possible to do for schoolboys”

Anonymous May 24, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Wow almost as high as the stupid space X

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: