Gorgeous Amateur Footage Of HD Camera's Ascent To Near-Space

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Gorgeous Amateur Footage Of HD Camera's Ascent To Near-Space

Come for the gorgeous footage of space, stay to watch a camera survive a 100,000 foot fall.

Before you watch the most entertaining 10 minutes of Youtube footage you'll see this week, you need a bit of backstory. Impressed by a group of MIT students who attached a digital camera to a balloon and scored some gorgeous images of space for under $150, a group of Canadian radio enthusiasts thought they could do one better.

Constructing their own rig of a Canon Vixio HD camcorder, foam padding and a hydrogen balloon, the group set it aloft above Edmonton. After nearly three hours of flight (the attached ten minute clip is a highlights reel) and over 100,000 feet of altitude, the camera returned to Earth. More specifically, it plummeted into a tree and miraculously survived.

Even if you have no interest in the stunning footage from the very edge of our atmosphere -- it's very serene up there -- be sure to watch every from 6:25 on. That's the point where the balloon bursts and viewers get to experience 107,145 feet of free fall.

Sadly, the camera never collides with anything substantial, ruining all hope of seeing one of those smarmy Canada Geese incinerated in a burst of feathers and molten beak.

(Via Geek)

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That's crazy awesome.
And that's a pretty god camera for surviving! I know what camera I'm buying next!

EDIT: And I totally saw the curvature of the Earth! Take that flat-world theorists!

So, who would pay to watch the full footage in HD?

I know I certainly would. That was beautiful.

Pretty mental stuff.

My only question is how did they know where it'd land And what sort of control did they have so that it didnt land on a school playground or something?

That's really awe-inspiring stuff

Bungalow:
Pretty mental stuff.

My only question is how did they know where it'd land And what sort of control did they have so that it didnt land on a school playground or something?

They probably had a gps on it and as you can see they realised it at the edge of town an quick check of the the predicted wind patterns would mean you could get it to go away from the city to the rural area it landed in.

Bungalow:
Pretty mental stuff.

My only question is how did they know where it'd land And what sort of control did they have so that it didnt land on a school playground or something?

The payload included a phone with a GPS on it - they used some software to track the phone. As for the landing, I think they used this site: http://weather.uwyo.edu/polar/balloon_traj.html to predict about where it would end up.

That was really great to watch.

It didn't look like free-fall to me though. I think it was on a parachute.
Nevertheless beautiful footage

I live in Edmonton and didn't hear about this until this post.

I can see the headlines now: "Old Lady killed in Copycat Near Space Camera Launch"

Makes you worry about getting hit on the head by one of these things when your outside.

That's awesome. I want one of those cameras, now.

That was incredible. Thanks for sharing (and proudly Canadian! :P)

The Fall was the most beuatiful part... the shear splendor of a constant 9.8 m/s^2 (assuming there wasnt a parachute... if there was that totally ruins the awesome).... still took a long ass time to fall.

That was amazing. I never want to go up there though, too much spinning.

That was amazing, thank you Escapist!

This would be great for IMAX.

To bad that they couldn't keep the camera stable during the fall.

Awosome

That just made my day.

I wonder how they found the camera?

That's AWESOME.
The earth sure looks beautiful

That was beautiful. The earth looked absolutely amazing.

Best idea ever. I love the footage, though now someone's going to have to try and find a way to way the camera less spin-able.

That was amazing, the shots of the horizon were absolutely beautiful.

It shouldn't be too hard to stabilize the camera with some gyroscopes and for the fall, a bit of aerodynamic should help (and a shute ofc, it obviously hat a shute on it)

also quite strange decision to waste so much time at the beginning of the video instead of showing more footage

good quality cam btw, I'm sure they don't test for these situations lol

Not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but...i thought things didn't make noise in space? you can hear when the balloon pops and when the camera is shaking and tumbling.

kiyeshi:
Not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but...i thought things didn't make noise in space? you can hear when the balloon pops and when the camera is shaking and tumbling.

While the whole thing is shaking and tumbling, the camera is shifting inside the foam and lines are hitting that casing. The sound isn't being conducted through the "air" at 107,000' but rather the insulating foam around the camera. (And the "pop" would've been conducted down the lines attaching the balloon to the payload.)

-- Steve

Svenparty:
I can see the headlines now: "Old Lady killed in Copycat Near Space Camera Launch"

Makes you worry about getting hit on the head by one of these things when your outside.

Or if it crash lands into your house...

As awesome as that was, I'm extremely dizzy

I got a headache from all that spinning and tumbling, but it was still amazing. It seems quite lonely and quiet up there, high above the clouds. No need to go there myself then.

I just saw a story on the news the other day about a single amateur balloonist who did the same thing. He reprogramed the firmware in his digital camera, put it in a styrofoam cube along with a GPS locator, attached it to a weather balloon, and let it fly. This looks similar, and the footage is breathtaking.

... I read Gorgeous Amateur and my mind wandered. Then I actually looked and yes, it is pretty.

Not what i was expecting in an article with a lead up like "gorgeous amateur footage"...but it was rather cool none the less.

I salute my Canadian awesome-friends in the north! That was a beautiful shot of the entire world on the edge of insanity.

This definitely made my day, thank you!

GamerLuck:
The Fall was the most beuatiful part... the shear splendor of a constant 9.8 m/s^2 (assuming there wasnt a parachute... if there was that totally ruins the awesome).... still took a long ass time to fall.

Sadly, there was a parachute, and you can see it at the very end of the video as it falls over the camera shroud. A free fall from 107,000 feet would turn a Canon camera into dust upon impact.

kiyeshi:
Not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but...i thought things didn't make noise in space? you can hear when the balloon pops and when the camera is shaking and tumbling.

Believe it or not, there is still a small amount of atmosphere at 107,000 feet. It is very thin, but it is there. It is understood that the cut-off between space and the armosphere is at 100km. The balloon only ascended to 32km or so. It was hardly in the vaccuum of space.

Was the camera in a plastic casing or something, because when it's at its peak it keeps giving a reflection.

And did anyone else see that thing with James May? Where they went to the same height pretty much I think in the plane. It was AMAZING - he actually started to cry a little but if I was up there I think I would as well.

It really was just "Wow!".

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