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  • iPhone in Space!
    [ame]http://vimeo.com/15091562[/ame]


    An impressive video is making the rounds showing the Earth from 19 miles up in the stratosphere - high enough to show the curvature of the earth and the blackness of space - that was shot from an iPhone 4. A father and son from Brooklyn, New York lofted an iPhone to 100,000 feet aboard a weather balloon to take a video of the Earth from space. Amazingly, the phone survived plummeting back to Earth at 150 miles per hour after the balloons burst, landing safely not far from the launch point.

    Luke Geissbühler spent eight months researching and testing a way to video the Earth's curvature. He ended up taking an iPhone with external HD camera and wrapping it with hand-warmers to protect it from temperatures of 60 below zero Fahrenheit above the tropopause. They enclosed it in styrofoam packing materials, which they attached to a helium weather balloon. The two took their "homemade spacecraft" away from coastal Brooklyn, launching it from Newburgh in upstate New York to avoid interfering with air traffic and the chance of a splashdown. After 72 minutes, the iPhone had climbed over 100,000 feet (about 19 miles) into the stratosphere. At that height, the atmospheric pressure is just 1 kilopascal, or .001% 1% (thanks fr0zenra1n for the cluestick) of what it is at sea level. The helium gas inside the balloon expanded so much that the balloons burst open, and a parachute opened to protect the falling iPhone. The two used a custom app that transmitted GPS information to find the iPhone stuck in a tree, undamaged, just 30 miles away from where the balloon had lifted off "due to a rapid ascent and two differing wind patterns". The batteries died due to the extreme cold and the video cuts out just two minutes prior to landing.

    The Geissbuhlers are working on a how-to guide so that other parents and kids can try this for themselves. A link to the FAA regulations for weather balloons is also included on their site, to prevent would-be iPhonauts from creating hazards for aircraft.

    Source: iPhone Download Blog
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPhone in Space! started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 78 Comments
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by mr117 View Post
      So let me get this straight. A kid sends an iPhone into space (whatever your definition of space is, if you can see the curve of the Earth, you are in space in my book). He uses it to transmit (GPS) information. The balloon breaks some 100,000+ feet up, more than 19 miles (!) and an emergency parachute sends it screaming back to Earth at 150 mph. The battery in a separate camera dies from the cold, but the iPhone 4 continues to send GPS info back to the kid AFTER IT LANDS IN A TREE!!!! From 19+ miles UP! At 150 MPH!

      So, no death grip issue? No problem with the proximity sensor? No buildup of dust that breaks the back of the case?

      Are we SURE this was an iPhone 4? They don't work, you know. Everyone says so. Even a much-vaunted consumer testing group says so.

      Maybe it was a better phone that LOOKS like an iPhone but that, you know, WORKS.

      We need to look into this. It's probably a trick of some kind. An investigation is called for. People need to post saying it can't be, iPhone 4s don't work.

      It was probably a Droid. Yeah, that's what it was. A Droid. 'Cause, you know, iPhone 4s don't work.
      Stratosphere is not space. It's still in the earth's atmosphere.

      The space shuttle doesn't even orbit in space.
    1. -vis0-'s Avatar
      -vis0- -
      That was really sweet. Dont think it was an i4, if you check it out while its in the back of the car, you can see the silver wrap-around.
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      Quote Originally Posted by NessLookAlike View Post
      Unless my eyes mistake me, you can see at the beginning of the video that its not an iPhone 4. Most likely a 3GS. /derail
      Oh, well that explains it. Of course. The 3GS works. Never mind.

      As to the height- whatever you want to call it, it was HIGH. Of course, since it wasn't an i4, it's not important.
    1. KingKac's Avatar
      KingKac -
      The iPhone only was used for GPS not recording the video. But there should be someone out there willing to try it.
    1. mastuul's Avatar
      mastuul -
      Now that's a great science project!
    1. AnthonyGiola's Avatar
      AnthonyGiola -
      Talk about father son bonding... Wish my dad had been that cool
    1. nerdyperdy's Avatar
      nerdyperdy -
      I saw this yesterday on Sinfuliphone and was amazed. Yes it is a 3GS, not an iPhone 4. No there not in space, but who cares...a father and soon sent an iPhone and a camera to the upper reaches of be atmosphere and recorded it..freakin' sweet.

      3GS..only for gps
      No iPhone 4
      Farthest reaches of the atmosphere

      Freaking sweetness is all I can say. Kick ***
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      Cool story even though the article got just about everything wrong. At least it's nice to see the writer put a lot of effort into what they post!
    1. XXX's Avatar
      XXX -
      hmmmm

      I remember reading about some students doing this months or years ago. Can't remember.

      The only difference was they used a point and shoot camera modded out to take a picture every 30 seconds or so. So i guess this one with video is a little better. They also had a prepaid cell phone to transmit the position, not an iphone.

      def not an original idea. Looks fun though.
    1. thestrangestick's Avatar
      thestrangestick -
      Amazing, to think that little phone went all the way into space and back, attatched only to a balloon. Us humans need giant metal spacecraft to do anything similar...

      On a lighter note, someone should send this video to the Flat Earth Society
    1. kuhndsn's Avatar
      kuhndsn -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Stratosphere is not space. It's still in the earth's atmosphere.

      The space shuttle doesn't even orbit in space.
      Huh? As I type this I am in my garage which has alot of "space". Isn't everything space? lmao. Just kidding I know the whole outerspace techno. Learned the true definition from Armageddon. Lol.

      Pretty cool story regardless of all the techno jumbo. The best part of the article was the fact that this was done as a father son thing. Launching a phone to track gps cords or flying a kite. Parental bonding is always a plus and since they used a iPhone for part of their setup makes this newsworthy IMO.

      Cheers mate.
    1. punjabi212's Avatar
      punjabi212 -
      That's cool lol.
    1. Retrospect's Avatar
      Retrospect -
      Simply amazing, don't think I would ever risk my phone to do something like that though.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by kuhndsn View Post
      Huh? As I type this I am in my garage which has alot of "space". Isn't everything space? lmao. Just kidding I know the whole outerspace techno. Learned the true definition from Armageddon. Lol.

      Pretty cool story regardless of all the techno jumbo. The best part of the article was the fact that this was done as a father son thing. Launching a phone to track gps cords or flying a kite. Parental bonding is always a plus and since they used a iPhone for part of their setup makes this newsworthy IMO.

      Cheers mate.
      What would have made it even cooler if some weird alien gamma rays mutated the phone and turned it into some sort of weapon with a death ray for a flashlight led and hyper-accelerated the antenna strength so we could communicate with some creature a billion light years away who could share the secrets of immortality and invulnerability.

      But then they probably would "hold the phone wrong" and drop the call and all would be lost in interstellar communication thanks to Apple.
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      Very Very Cool
    1. ravelsnip's Avatar
      ravelsnip -
      For those who think it actually went into space, think again!

      If any object so
      Small
      Goes into
      Space, when
      It comes back into the earth's atmosphere, it will burn into ash..before it reaches down. It was just the upper atmosphere it has reached.
    1. Xenontac's Avatar
      Xenontac -
      If its a 3gs, why is there a LED light shining like a beacon as mentioned in the video?
    1. jdogg84's Avatar
      jdogg84 -
      Whoever posted this article is a bold faced liar, not even a smart one. Thats not an iPhone4, maybe a 3G[s], or even a 3G. An d its only used to track GPS. Space looks like a lonely place. I think its overated....
    1. PSYC0TIC ONE's Avatar
      PSYC0TIC ONE -
      Quote Originally Posted by Xenontac View Post
      If its a 3gs, why is there a LED light shining like a beacon as mentioned in the video?
      they said camera LED

      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      What would have made it even cooler if some weird alien gamma rays mutated the phone and turned it into some sort of weapon with a death ray for a flashlight led and hyper-accelerated the antenna strength so we could communicate with some creature a billion light years away who could share the secrets of immortality and invulnerability.

      But then they probably would "hold the phone wrong" and drop the call and all would be lost in interstellar communication thanks to Apple.
      hahaha, thanks, i needed a good laugh man!!!

      hahaha
    1. Xenontac's Avatar
      Xenontac -
      Camera LED? but the battery is flat..