Man Snaps Stunning Space Photos Using Balloon, Duct Tape

Balloon/camera contraption cost Robert Harrison just $750
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2010 10:00 AM CDT
Updated Mar 27, 2010 8:16 PM CDT
Man Snaps Stunning Space Photos Using Balloon, Duct Tape
A shot from the balloon.   (Flickr)

Armed with a few hundred dollars and a dream, a British man has come up with a way to take photos of the earth from space that would make NASA proud—and have. “A guy phoned up who worked for NASA. He wanted to know how the hell we did it,” Robert Harrison tells the Times. “They said it would have cost them millions of dollars.” But a slim $750 got Harrison the meteorological balloon, digital camera, GPS device, duct tape, and home insulation he needed to take the shots.

He used free software readily available online to program his camera to wake up every 5 minutes and take 8 photos and a video. Harrison has completed 12 launches, and appears to hold the record for highest flight at 22 miles. He wraps the camera, a radio transmitter, and the GPS device he uses to retrieve the package in insulation, which allows the electronics to function at -76 degrees. He was in a pub when the first photos came down, “and I was gobsmacked when I got the images,” he says. “That’s a lifetime achievement.” Click here to see his photos.
(More Robert Harrison stories.)

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