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.