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How to Photograph the Earth from (Near) Space for Under $150

 by Danielle Maestretti


Tags: Science and technology, gadgets, MIT, photography, Earth, Technology Review, Danielle Maestretti,

Earth from high orbitThe new issue of Technology Review features a most excellent hack: step-by-step instructions for an inexpensive contraption that allows you to photograph Earth from the upper reaches of the atmosphere. It’s not space, but it’s as close as any photographer will get for $150!

MIT students Oliver Yeh and Justin Lee snagged some 4,000 photos when they launched their first near-space camera in September; since then, they’ve posted a guide with detailed directions—and vital tips, like remembering to contact the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before the camera’s takeoff—to help you build, launch, and land your own traveling camera.

If you’ve already got a point-and-shoot, you’re one-sixth of the way there—you’ll just need a weather balloon, something to serve as a parachute, styrofoam cooler, prepaid cell phone, and some hardcore cold weather–resistant batteries.

Technology Review has its own helpful photographic guide to the components of the device, and a cool short video in which Yeh walks through the construction and launch process.

Source: Technology Review