Students send a Nikon D300s SLR to the edge of space

Students send a Nikon D300s SLR to the edge of space

We love these videos where people send cameras up to the edge of space using their own DIY craft, but this is the first one we’ve seen where they’ve used a high-end camera.

Students send a Nikon D300s SLR to the edge of space

Tech students Erich Leeth and Terry Presley sent their Nikon D300s DSLR with a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens up, up and away, with the camera positioned inside a WalMart beer cooler hooked up to a weather balloon.

They reckon their 22 foot helium weather balloon reached as high as  100,000 feet, before it popped and the contents were safely returned to earth via a parachute.

They describe their mission below, and you can see all their photos here.

We launched our little spacecraft (Cygnus) 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 released. This image was taken 1 hour and 55 minutes into the flight.

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!


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