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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

MIT Students Capture Photos From Space - Budget $160.00

Three MIT students, Oliver Yeh, Justin Lee and Eric Newton, used common consumer electronics and a weather balloon to snap pictures from space. Dubbed Project Icarus the three who specialize in taking low-cost aerial photographs that they display and sell through a website called 1337arts, captured the photograph below from 28 kilometres up.

"The camera used in the project was a 7.1-megapixel Canon Powershot the students bought used on They installed an open-source firmware add-on to the camera that would allow them to program it to take a picture every five seconds.

To track the location of the balloon, they used a $50 pre-paid Motorola cellphone with GPS capabilities and installed a free program that would report the phone's location at regular intervals. A USB phone charger powered by AA lithium batteries kept the phone running during the five-hour voyage. They also installed an external antenna to boost the phone's signal"

Perhaps NASA should hire a few more MIT grads!

Source: CBC