Spanish students beat NASA

Fun & Games Photography & Video Science
Spanish students beat NASA

A group of student makers took kite arial photography to a new level: weather balloon photography. They certainly are undercutting NASA’s budget, spending very little on their project, and fabricating most of the structure and electronics themselves.

Check out Gareth’s previous entry on the project.

BalloonPhotroRig.jpg

Mail Online has a decent writeup. Nice of them to copyright the photos for the students, isn’t it?

Building the electronic sensor components from scratch, Gerard Marull Paretas, Sergi Saballs Vil, Martm Gasull Morcillo and Jaume Puigmiquel Casamort were able to send their heavy duty £43 latex balloon to the edge of space and take readings of its ascent.

Under the guidance of teacher Jordi Fanals Oriol, the budding scientists, all aged 18 to 19, followed the progress of their balloon using hi-tech sensors communicating with Google Earth.

‘Meteotek was our experiment to see if we could accurately measure the Earth’s atmospheric conditions at 30,000 metres, take pictures to prove the experiment and then recover the instruments attached to the balloon after its deflation,’ said team leader Paretas, 18.

‘We were overwhelmed at our results, especially the photographs. To send our handmade craft to the edge of space is incredible.’

BAP-DataMashup.jpg

Their use of Google Earth was integrated into the project and provides some nice mashups of their data.

It’s great to see the progress of their build in photos and text on their blog. Their site also provides a choice to use Google translate, which helps people from other cultures access their work.

Thanks Tom!

18 thoughts on “Spanish students beat NASA

  1. Rabbit says:

    What does this have to do with NASA?

  2. ian says:

    how does that “beat NASA”?? Give me a break.

    That said, congrats to the Spaniards. Great project.

  3. MomentumV says:

    Weather balloon photography has been going on for years. A team from Cedarville University in Ohio has done this same thing as an extra-curriciular activity, and several US schools are participating in a collaborative launch later in march, combining data from several simultaneous launches across several states. check out:
    http://nearspaceventures.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi
    http://www.stratostar.net/

  4. AndyL says:

    Unless there is a NASA connection that I’m not getting, the title of this post does a disservice to the project.

    No matter how cool it is, *NOW* everyone is thinking about :
    A) How this project does not live up to its “hype”
    B) How a massively funded government agency could have done it better.
    C) The Moon.

  5. Almost_There says:

    Been there, done that…

    (although I didn’t use a camera because I never expected to retrieve the thing, it fell in to the ocean about 140 miles out to sea.)

    see
    http://www.GeoCities.com/Almost_There_Weather_Balloon/
    (if it don’t load, try again later.)

    Almost_There

  6. Chris W says:

    Even with a parachute I’m glad it didn’t land on power lines orsomeone’s head.
    I doubt they built their own electronic components.
    60,000 M is not the edge of outer space.
    That said, Bravo! I wish I was there.

  7. Aldo Ayala says:

    This project is froom portuguese students , NOT spanish.

    1. Hunter S. Thompson says:

      This project is from Catalan students. Just check Google Earth and the article, that’ll help.

      Just because it doesn’t sound Spanish doesn’t mean it is Portuguese.
      I won’t enter the politics regarding whether Catalan is Spanish though.

      There is more people speaking Catalan than there is of Norwegian, Swedish or Danish, by the way. (It is the most spoken unofficial language in Europe)

  8. HuHarvey says:

    First I thought wow, what a cool project! Then I said wait, how did they manage to land the payload safely?

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Making things is the best way to learn about our world.

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