RPI students send balloon to the edge of space

rpi students balloon near space

The view from about 90,000 feet.

This is great: a group of RPI students sent a weather balloon to the edge of space -- almost 90,000 feet. The balloon was equipped with three HD cameras and the video is remarkable (a few versions are embedded after the jump).

The students are part of a club called "RPI Students for the Exploration and Development of Space" (RPI-SEDS) -- it was founded by Orian Breaux, who recently graduated with an undergrad degree in aeronautical engineering. They launched the balloon from the Class of '86 field on campus -- and it ultimately landed in Maine after reaching 89,777 feet (well into the stratosphere).

So, why? (Other than than the fact it's awesome.) Breaux explains in a blog post:

Let's face it: space isn't sexy anymore. The zeal for the cosmos that once pervaded the American public consciousness has gone flat, and we're not going to rediscover that passion through politicians or NASA administrators. It will reemerge through the efforts of entrepreneurs in the private space industry and through the legions of professionals and students inspired by their actions ...
Our first effort, the high-atmosphere balloon, is an innovative variation on this increasingly common project. The idea that regular students can realize grassroots space projects like this embodies new opportunities to inspire people unlike ever before. That is the central idea behind presenting the high-atmosphere in a 360-degree interactive medium.

Breaux's name might sound familiar -- he's one of the founders of the Swing Syndicate in Troy. As he told AOA last fall about his career plans: "I'm not losing focus on getting into the space industry. I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I want to be involved in the movement to privatize space flight. Maybe I'll start a dance studio on the moon -- go back to my roots."

There's a 360 degree panorama video embedded on RPI's site, as well as Breaux's site.

This is "flattened" version of the video:

And here's unedited video from just one of the cameras:

image: RPI Students for the Exploration and Development of Space/Orian Breaux

Comments

That's cool.

This is cooler:
http://www.petapixel.com/2012/01/26/teens-photograph-lego-figure-on-edge-of-space-for-400/

yeah it's been done over and over and has been online for ages

@andrew: maybe the word "unprecedented" is pushing it a bit in that blog, though I wouldn't say "has been done for ages", that "father and son send a balloon to space" video was in 2010, wasn't it? There have been a lot of DYI pages about sending balloons to space for a few $hundreds since then, kinda cool what you can do with a couple GoPro cameras. I'd like to send The Egg in space.

Not quite Larry Walters, but good enough.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Walters

The unique part of this project isn't the launch itself, but the 360-degree video that came from it: http://www.rpi.edu/news/video/spaceballoon/

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

In the year between women's marches, here's what people have been doing to change things

It was almost exactly one year to the day between the big rally in Albany's West Capitol Park to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump... (more)

Hops and deliberate inefficiency

As with many other places, New York has experiencing a craft beverage boom the last few years. So this article by Derek Thompson over at... (more)

Saratoga Frozen Springs Classic 2018

The Saratoga Frozen Springs Classic -- a "pond" hockey tournament -- returns Feburary 9-11 at Saratoga Spa State Park. (The games are on the outdoor... (more)

SPAC Country Megaticket 2018: Urban, Rascal Flatts, Aldean, Bentley, Bryan

Live Nation and SPAC have rolled together another "Country Megaticket" package of shows at the venue this summer: June 27: Keith Urban, with Kelsea Ballerini... (more)

"I mean, it's so vast. . . . It's one of our greatest assets."

Remarkable: The NYS Writers Institute has recordings from interviews and talks with every single writer who's appeared as part of the institute's visiting writers series.... (more)

Recent Comments

When I think of spring, I think about riding my bike along the Mohawk. The spring breeze flows over me and I'm free.

SPAC Country Megaticket 2018: Urban, Rascal Flatts, Aldean, Bentley, Bryan

...has 1 comment, most recently from Dave

A good rehearsal dinner spot in Saratoga?

...has 7 comments, most recently from Nicole

Hops and deliberate inefficiency

...has 1 comment, most recently from chrisck

Capital Region ice skating spots

...has 1 comment, most recently from Nancy

Belt Line 3

...has 10 comments, most recently from BS