The original concept
On the 17th of December 2010, Alex Baker and Chris Rose filmed the Earth from the edge of space on a shoe string budget.
The idea was inspired by watching footage of Joe Kittinger launch himself into the unknown from a capsule and giant helium balloon (a feat more recently repeated by Felix Baumgarten). Without the budget of NASA such things would be impossible! However, weather balloons are regularly used to measure data from the high atmosphere and suppose you could track one to where it landed?
The balloon was launched from Ashbourne, Derbyshire on 17 December 2010, and was in flight for approximately two hours and 50 minutes, before landing in a field in Strethall, Essex, a journey of over 100 miles. A foam payload was constructed (from materials found in a scrap bin) and on board were two video cameras and a gps tracking device, originally designed for locating lost pets! Needless to say, it took a lot of finding, but found it was and the footage was truly breathtaking. The images were edited together over the following month and then uploaded to Youtube.
• Foam from a scrap bin isn’t insulative enough to stop the camera batteries giving up before the descent!
• GPS trackers for finding pets aren’t very accurate
• Launching things into near space is probably the most exciting thing ever!