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Make: is going to space! Have you ever wanted to go up into space? Well, you don’t have to win a golden ticket, be a millionaire, or an astronaut… you can send your own payload into space!

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We’re using weather balloons to go up to approximately 100k feet armed with 4 cameras… 20 megapixels of camera! We’ll be taking shots every 7 seconds for two hours and measuring the temperature with the Make: controller and thermistors!

It took 16 people working on this, countless cases of mountain dew, lots of take-out food, and a lot of sleepless nights, and we intend to fly Sunday!

Cloud cover, snow, and mechanical failure may postpone the launch, but we’re ready to give it our best shot this weekend.

In this Make: Video Podcast, you’ll learn all the details of how to put a weather balloon up into space! The weather balloon will make it up to about 100,000 feet. That’s almost 20 miles up and more than twice the height of being in an airplane. It’s high enough that the sky is black and you can see the curvature of the earth.

Why would we want to send a package into space? To take pictures and temperature readings of course! We’ll be using the Make: Controller to boss around 4 canon sd cameras set up to take a spectacular panoramic picture every 7 seconds! It will also have thermistors on it to measure the temperature as it goes up?

We’ll be tracking it with two different systems. The primary system is a gps module connected to a tinytrak which makes the gps data into aprs ham radio packets and then sends them out on 144.39mhz which will get picked up by our receivers and repeaters and then routed to the internet where anyone can watch on google maps and earth in real time!

Here’s an mp4 that plays on pretty much everything. Here’s a 3gp and 3g2 for people who like to watch on their phone! Of course if you subscribe in itunes, the videos and accompanying pdf get downloaded automatically for you, no muss no fuss. You can browse all the Make: videos and get embed codes at blip.tv or on the weekend projects page at your leisure! – Subscribe Link

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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