A couple of intrepid tech students, Erich Leeth and Terry Presley have sent their Nikon D300 camera to the edge of space strapped inside a beer cooler that they purchased from Walmart. The duo used a weather balloon to carry their Nikon D300 right to the edges of space and used the beer cooler to protect it from the cold and help return it to earth in one piece.
Their spacecraft (Cygnus) was launched at 9:02am from : 33° 49′ 28″N 102° 53′ 56″W, and it touched back down to Earth at 11:56am at 33° 19′ 21″N 101° 59′ 42″W, 62 miles from where it was launched. The fantastic image below was taken 1 hour and 55 minutes into the flight. Watch a video of the launch after the jump.
The team explain:
“The camera was traveling in a styrofoam beer cooler from Wal Mart. The cooler was lifted into space using a 22 foot weather balloon filled with Helium. A parachute was attached to the cooler to slow and stabilize the fall of the cooler when the balloon eventually popped from lack of air pressure as it rose closer to the vacuum of space.
There were some issues with frost building up on the plexiglass shield and it actually ruined most of the images. Live and learn I suppose. We’ll get it down next time. Most people we’ve seen do this online take 3-6 months of planning and preparation before they launch something. We did it in 13 days. I guess it’s only fitting that we overlooked something. I’m just glad we found it and everything was still in one piece!”
Source: DIY Photography