Dad and son send HD camera into space with iPhone

A father and his 7-year-old son launch a weather balloon, equipped with an HD camera and an iPhone, into space. The gadgets record much of the flight.

Some fathers and sons spend their weekends flying kites in the park.

Luke Geissbuhler and his 7-year-old son Max thought it might be more fun to send an iPhone and an HD camera into space.

The purpose was simple: to film some of that stuff that is beyond us. So they thought they'd attach their equipment to a weather balloon. Once it's up there, they figured, the dearth of atmospheric pressure would ultimately burst it and send it back to Earth.

It all seemed very clever but not exactly foolproof.

As Geissbuhler and son say in their video: "It would have to survive 100 mph winds, temperatures of 60 degrees below zero, speeds of over a 150 mph, and the high risk of a water landing."

Still, the Wright brothers wouldn't have been put off by such uncertainty, and they never had an iPhone with which they could track the route of their flying craft. So father and son did a little low-altitude testing and then wandered off to the spacecraft-launching mecca that is Newburgh, N.Y., and sent their balloon into the sky.

The camera and the iPhone had been placed inside some handwarmers and, on the appointed day, father and son were their own two-man (with help) Mission Control in the park, as they watched their balloon sail off into the vast above.

The balloon burst after around 70 minutes. But it managed to record 100 minutes of footage. As if it knew its own way home, it came back to Earth 30 miles from where it had launched, which Geissbuhler attributed to "a quick ascent and two differing wind patterns."

This is a truly committed father and son partnership, so they searched for their flying machine until they found it "in the dead of night." Yes, it was 50 feet up a tree, but the iPhone's GPS and the camera's external LED light led them to it.

One can only wonder what their self-styled "Brooklyn Space Program" might attempt next. Perhaps a manned (and boyyed) space flight?

Source: Time magazine

 

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