Luke and his son Max Geissbuhler from Brooklyn, NY, sent a camera attached to a weather balloon up into the stratosphere! They call themselves the Brooklyn Space Program. [via FREEwilliamsburg]

From the pages of MAKE


Weather Balloon Space Probes in MAKE Volume 24 by John Baichtal, illustration by James Provost, pgs. 54-55. Check it out in our digital edition or subscribe.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern ( is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).

  • Stefano Paganini

    It’a cool project and a great family team!

    As we reviewed on Oct.12th!

    Great infographics from Make, will update our post ASAP!

    • Andy

      The site doesn’t have any details on what kind of comms package the project used, if any. However the previous comment implies that it was another cell phone based project.

      This means that the people behind the project didn’t do the full amount of research on legality of their project, since the project is NOT legal. Once you add a communications package, the FAA isn’t the only organization you need to check regulations with. You also need to check FCC regulations, which forbid airborne operation of cell phones except in very specific circumstances. (Namely, aircraft that have a microcell that will cause the phone’s power control to kick in and drop transmit power.) Putting a cell phone of any sort on a weather balloon is not allowed.

      (Legal HAB projects use the amateur (ham) radio bands for comms and have a licensed amateur operator take care of all comms responsibilities.)


    “space” as defined by international agreement starts at 62 miles up (100km). At best this balloon made it 1/3rd of the way there.

  • Colecoman1982

    This seems like a neat project but I have to agree with rdarlington. It’s not fair to the amateur projects that have/will actually make it into space (I’m pretty sure there’s only been one, so far, and it was a rocket) to just pretend there isn’t a difference (the difference in effort required is huge).

    Even if you ignore the Karman line as the “official” limit of space, a balloon can’t go into space by it’s very definition. In order to stay aloft, it needs to be in an atmosphere. Being in an atmosphere means you’re not in space.

    This is an atmospheric probe; no more, no less.

  • Simon

    I am another who would like to ask, politely, that these balloon projects, cool as they are, aren’t described as ‘going into space’. It’s one of those science inaccuracies, often repeated, that irks me. I guess because there is no need to simplify it in that way, it’s pretty neat they get into the stratosphere, and also because I am old and grumpy :)

    • Becky Stern

      Hah, thanks for your comment! We’re all for accuracy!