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.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Crisp Cannoli storefront closing

The Crisp Cannoli in East Greenbush -- you know, the bakery that makes croissant donuts, including an apple cider version -- is closing its storefront... (more)

Local food gifts

We're into the stretch run for December holidays, so we asked Deanna for a few stocking stuffer-type local food gift ideas. Stockings are my favorite... (more)

Where to get latkes?

Xina emails with a seasonal question: Where can I get some excellent latkes in the Capital region? I have had no luck making good ones... (more)

Morning Blend

Andrew Cuomois headed to Schenectady today to congratulate the city on winning the bid for the Rivers Casino. [TU][AOA] Some reaction to the casino decision:... (more)

Holiday gifts: Erin Pihlaja

Gifts and giving are on most everyone's mind this month. So we thought we'd ask a few people to share some thoughts on presents, past... (more)

Recent Comments

... I tend to ask questions that make the person think about what they just said. I ask it sweetly and in a tone that notes confusion on my part. I have been called honey in the office and asked the person, " Can I ask what you mean when you call me honey? Because you don't call John honey." It calls out that he's treating you differently for being a woman. If he still doesn't get it, you can be more direct: "I appreciate that you respect my work and treat me equally, but I wouldn't want others to think otherwise based on how you address me."

Local food gifts

...has 1 comment, most recently from Bob

Where to get latkes?

...has 8 comments, most recently from David

A good endocrinologist?

...has 9 comments, most recently from Karen

Morning Blend for Dec 18

...has 1 comment, most recently from Scared on the Hudson

Miss Pearl: Who you calling honey, sugar?

...has 11 comments, most recently from AKM