Teen sends up camera, takes photos of Earth from space

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Sept. 11, 2012 at 5:00 PM   |   Comments

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Sept. 11 (UPI) -- One British teen, armed with a few inexpensive items purchased off eBay, proves that as technology gets more accessible, really cool projects are within the reach of anybody with the know-how and imagination.

Nineteen-year-old Adam Cudworth, of the U.K., captured incredible images of the Earth from nearly 20 miles above--all for under $600.

Using a homemade device, Cudworth launched a camera last Thursday that returned to the ground carrying great photos of the planet's curvature.

The Telegraph reports:

Adam bought a standard Canon A570 camera off eBay a year-and-a-half ago when he first had the idea for the project.

He placed it in an insulated box along with a small video camera, two temperature sensors, two high-performance solar panels, a tracking device, microprocessor and radio.

The Nottingham University student then attached it to a high-altitude two metre latex balloon with a parachute - and named his contraption HABE 5.

Following the launch, Adam tracked the balloon as it climbed to three times the height of a commercial plane before it burst and landed in Broadway, Worcs., 30 miles from his home.

The built-in circuit board allowed for Adam to cleverly record the speed, G-force and altitude his balloon was reaching at all times.

And incredible video footage taken alongside the photos, shows HABE 5 swirling through the clouds to dizzying heights.

"I saw a guy who did a similar thing a couple of years back and I just wanted to recreate them - but better," Cudworth said. "I have no background in astrophysics or anything like that, I'm just an engineering student. When I retrieved the camera I was stunned - it had captured some incredible photos and footage."

The HABE 5 took about 40 hours to complete, and climbed up to 110,210 ft in the air. Cudworth added that he plans to add the ability to control the box, not just track it.

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2012: The year in space
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(Adam Cudworth/Flickr)Activity lead Bobak Ferdowsi, who cuts his hair differently for each mission, works inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California on August 5, 2012. The Curiosity robot is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and potentially paving the way for human exploration, and was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes. UPI/Brian van der Brug/pool
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