Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Reconsidering NASA's Budget

I love this title: The $150 Space Camera: MIT Students Beat NASA On Beer-Money Budget.
The two students (from MIT, of course) put together a low-budget rig to fly a camera high enough to photograph the curvature of the Earth. Instead of rockets, boosters and expensive control systems, they filled a weather balloon with helium and hung a styrofoam beer cooler underneath to carry a cheap Canon A470 compact camera. Instant hand warmers kept things from freezing up and made sure the batteries stayed warm enough to work.

Of course, all this would be pointless if the guys couldn’t find the rig when it landed, so they dropped a prepaid GPS-equipped cellphone inside the box for tracking. Total cost, including duct tape? $148.
And the photos look really cool.

The MIT kids have a web page. Check it out.


Ellis said...

And some Spanish high school students did it for a little over $1k is impressive as well. I think they were the first too.

Top management consulting firms said...

The image looks cool and amazing.

Anonymous said...

One thing that is left out though is that labor costs are not calculated for the student version.