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10-17-2010, 01:15 PM #1
iPhone in Space!
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
Last edited by Paul Daniel Ash; 10-18-2010 at 09:49 AM.
10-17-2010, 01:19 PM #2
10-17-2010, 01:21 PM #3
"iPhonauts" .... best made up word ever! #WIN
10-17-2010, 01:24 PM #4
10-17-2010, 01:27 PM #5
that's pretty cool actually....did it say the iPhone actually recorded the video? Or just transmitted the GPS signal...
10-17-2010, 01:30 PM #6
10-17-2010, 01:31 PM #7
That is so awesome!
10-17-2010, 01:33 PM #8
10-17-2010, 01:37 PM #9
awesome. congrats to the people responsible. this shows that where there is a will there is a way.
come on pwnage tool lol =p
10-17-2010, 01:39 PM #10
10-17-2010, 01:47 PM #11
this is pretty kick *** not sure i would have risked my phone like that but if i had a spare one heck yea
10-17-2010, 01:50 PM #12
I want to talk about weather balloons
That was a good idea with the hand warmers and insulation. Does anyone know if a Minnesota winter will do the same thing? I could blame the weather for the short battery life, or maybe the fact it is a couple of years old. Hope all iballoon-O-nauts remember NOT to mess with controlled airspace!
Last edited by thetoothfairy; 10-17-2010 at 07:25 PM. Reason: blahunklbyl
10-17-2010, 01:52 PM #13
10-17-2010, 01:59 PM #14
So freaking awesome! Woulda been just as awesome sans iPhone. Great work random brooklyn dood!happiness is a warm iphone~~~~
10-17-2010, 02:11 PM #15
What a great story! That kid is off to a good start with a dad like that. Is there anything that can't be done with an iPhone, well, you know, other than flash.
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10-17-2010, 02:18 PM #16
10-17-2010, 02:18 PM #17
They're not first !
Just google 'amateur near space program'.
Just awesome hobby!
10-17-2010, 02:35 PM #18
Actually, I was at Space Mountain (in Orlando) 20 minutes ago. I think that counts.
10-17-2010, 02:54 PM #19
10-17-2010, 03:26 PM #20
this is pretty awsome. i bet in about a week this phone will be for sale at like a million dollars..most expensive phone ever!