A father/son team from Brooklyn, New York launched an iPhone 4 and HD video camera 19 miles into the Stratosphere using just a weather balloon and protective casing. They spent 8 months preparing for the launch, which lasted just over an hour (plus the 150 mph return trip back down to Earth). The mission went exactly as planned, and using MobileMe and the built in GPS, the duo retrieved the iPhone – intact – just 30 miles away from the starting point.
Surprisingly, the rapid cooling and heating didn’t affect the camera until it parachuted back down, when it caused it to shut off.
In August 2010, we set out to send a camera to space.
The mission was to attach a HD video camera to a weather balloon and send it up into the upper stratosphere to film the blackness beyond our earth. Eventually, the balloon will grow from the lack of atmospheric pressure, burst, and begin to fall.
It would have to survive 100 mph winds, temperatures of 60 degrees below zero, speeds of over 150 mph, and the high risk of a water landing. To retrieve the craft, it would need to deploy a parachute, descend through the clouds and transmit a GPS coordinate to a cell phone tower.
Then we have to find it.
Needless to say, there are a lot of variables to overcome. After 8 months of research and testing, we checked the weather patterns, picked our day, and drove to Newburgh, New York to launch.
You can check out the abridged footage at the source, and even buy the full 90 minute film to support further adventures.