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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. severe's Avatar
      severe -
      Easily the greatest thing I've seen done with an iPhone.

      Thanks for the report.
    1. DeathDude's Avatar
      DeathDude -
      Awesome story.

      I want to see somebody actually use the iPhone 4 to record the journey. I am sure Facetime would be awesome while it is going up.
    1. Funked's Avatar
      Funked -
      That's so awesome!
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      Jeez, folks, a little kid and his dad sent a iPhone (3, 3GS, 4, whatever) and a camera 19 miles up (space, stratosphere, whatever), the camera took pictures, the phone sent gps back so it could be recovered from the top of a tree in the middle of the night 30 miles from where it ascended. They weren't the first (except for the iPhone part). Why all the quibbles? Why all the nitpicking?

      I assumed it was a 4, it didn't say it was a 4. The story SAID a separate camera and phone. Nineteen miles UP! You go up there and tell me it wasn't on the edge of space. Let's let it go, it was a great adventure.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by ravelsnip View Post
      It was just the upper atmosphere it has reached.
      Not even close. It would have had to go up hundreds more miles just to breach the outer boundaries of the atmosphere.
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      obligatory:



      (fixed)
    1. robertr1's Avatar
      robertr1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by raduga View Post
      obligatory:

      Ok it was kind of in the middle of the stratosphere. Close enough to be awesome considering the only thing going up was a weather balloon with a Styrofoam case attached to it.
    1. lol_release's Avatar
      lol_release -
      This was entertainign for sure!
    1. enjoylife's Avatar
      enjoylife -
      it would be great if the writer got things right... IT WAS NOT AN IPHONE 4 AT ALL USED...

      THEY USE A GO PRO VIDEO CAMERA AND A SMASHED IPHONE 3G FOR GPS TRACKING..
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by enjoylife View Post
      it would be great if the writer got things right... IT WAS NOT AN IPHONE 4 AT ALL USED...

      THEY USE A GO PRO VIDEO CAMERA AND A SMASHED IPHONE 3G FOR GPS TRACKING..
      So what did we learn from this video? If any of you ever plan to take a balloon trip to the Stratosphere....make sure you carry your iPhone so when your trip goes horribly wrong..they can at least find your pulverized frozen body in a remote Columbian jungle. And be sure to take a few facial pics and horizon pics on your way down for us!

    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      So what did we learn from this video? If any of you ever plan to take a balloon trip to the Stratosphere....make sure you carry your iPhone so when your trip goes horribly wrong..they can at least find your pulverized frozen body in a remote Columbian jungle. And be sure to take a few facial pics and horizon pics on your way down for us!

      Last time I checked, it was an iPhone that went to space and that's what they said. Also there are no jungles in Columbia university, but there are in Colombia, which is spelt differently
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by whereswaldo View Post
      Last time I checked, it was an iPhone that went to space and that's what they said. Also there are no jungles in Columbia university, but there are in Colombia, which is spelt differently
      iPhone was used just for tracking the package after it fell back to earth...they even said that in the video. A Go Pro Hero HD camera was used for the actual video.

      Columbia.....Colombia. There have been much more horrific grammatical and spelling errors on this site. I'm pretty sure 99.99% of the people knew what I meant.
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      ok. last try.
      (i promise)

    1. GoldenTequila's Avatar
      GoldenTequila -
      It's cool, but there really was no necessity to use an iPhone because its role in this was just GPS. So, this is just one cool science project, not iphone anything. It was fun to watch though.
    1. thedanny1573's Avatar
      thedanny1573 -
      @poseidon....ur rite best made up word "iphonauts"
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      iPhone was used just for tracking the package after it fell back to earth...they even said that in the video. A Go Pro Hero HD camera was used for the actual video.

      Columbia.....Colombia. There have been much more horrific grammatical and spelling errors on this site. I'm pretty sure 99.99% of the people knew what I meant.
      Yea, so an iPhone did go to space
    1. lizahellen's Avatar
      lizahellen -
      Hi
      Since the orientation of the iPhone's screen is determined by the accelerometer, which relies on gravity, wouldn't it be fairly hard for someone to use the iPhone in space? There needs to be a zero gravity mode for the iPhone or else it's just not the coolest phone anymore.
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      Quote Originally Posted by whereswaldo View Post
      Yea, so an iPhone did go to space
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Acciavatti View Post
      ...that was shot from an iPhone 4... lofted an iPhone to 100,000 feet aboard a weather balloon to take a video of the Earth from space... the phone survived plummeting back to Earth...
      The whole article is written as if it was an iPhone that did the job. Only one sentence mentions an external HD camera which he doesn't even mention what model it is.