Have you ever dreamed of traveling to outer space? Seven-year-old Max Geissbuhler and his dad realized that this was not possible for them, so they did the next best thing. They came up with a plan that would give them a bird's-eye view of earth from 30 km (19 miles) up in the air!
In August 2010, after 8 months of testing, the father-and-son team sent a 19 inch helium-filled weather balloon into the sky. Tethered to the balloon was a Styrofoam box containing a HD video camera, a GPS-equipped iPhone and hand warmers. Within 25 minutes, the balloon had reached the upper limit of the troposphere, and after 75 minutes it reached its maximum altitude in the stratosphere. Here, there is very little air pressure and the balloon simply burst. However, Max and his dad were prepared for this and had fitted their “spaceship” with a parachute and a LED beacon. They were able to successfully locate the balloon within 50 km of the launch site.
The footage that the camera sent back is amazing; you can view some still shots here.
The Brooklyn Space Program