Welcome to space.1337arts.com — Project Icarus, home of the original $150 near-space launch!
UPDATE: 8/7/10 We have created a forum. If you have questions, comments, or just want to show your near-space launch, post HERE!
UPDATE: 5/12/10 Check out grassrootsmapping.org! We’re helping citizens to use balloons, kites, and other simple and inexpensive tools to produce their own aerial imagery of the spill… documentation that will be essential for environmental and legal use in coming years.
UPDATE: 10/30/09: Want to do it yourself? Visit GUIDE, a compilation of detailed information regarding what we did for our launch.
Click Here for archive of updates
***CAUTION/DISCLAIMER: Launching things into the stratosphere can be DANGEROUS! Please contact the FAA before trying any launches (even if they are under 4 lbs.) to make sure your vehicle won’t be entering restricted airspace and PLEASE check the University of Wyoming’sBalloon Trajectory Predictor(or a similar website) to make sure you balloon won’t be landing in the city/a populated area where it might cause significant damage. Also, be sure to test your balloon’s terminal velocity for descent before launching. We tested our parachute by putting eggs inside of our styrofoam box and tossing the box off of a 5 story building. We were not satisfied with the landing speed of our box until the eggs did not break upon the box’s impact.
About Project Icarus
We are a group of MIT students seeking to share the artistic aspects of science with others. On Sept. 2, 2009, we launched a digital camera into near-space to take photographs of the earth from high up above. (see “Flight”)
Several groups have accomplished similar feats (see “Other Launches”), but as far we know, we are the first group ever to:
(1) Complete such a launch on a budget of $150 total. All of our supplies (including camera, GPS tracking, weather balloon, and helium) were purchased for less than a grand total of $150.
(2) Create a launch vehicle without the use of any electronic hacking. We used off-the-shelf items exclusively (i.e., no electronic chips or soldering) to create our launch vehicle.
The results were fantastic. Our ultra low-budget balloon went 17.5 miles high into the uppermost parts of the stratosphere and returned 5 hours later. We tracked the device with GPS and found it some 20 miles away from the launch site.
Project Icarus Details:
|Who||Oliver Yeh , Justin Lee, Eric Newton|
|Launch Date/Time||September 2nd, 2009, 11:45 EST|
|Launch Location||Sturbridge, MA - 42.12074, -72.06233|
|Impact Location||Worcester, MA - 42.25504, -71.71943|
|Distance Traveled||~20 miles|
|Altitude Achieved||98,000 feet, 17.5 miles|
|Helium Used||~65 cubic feet|
|Camera||Canon A470 /w chdk open source firmware|
|Batteries||4 Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA Batteries|
|GPS Reciever||Motorola i290 Prepaid Cellphone (“Boost Mobile”)|
|Tracking Software||Accutracking, Instamapper|
|Flight path||Google Earth kml|
|FAA regulation||Legal as long as payload is under 4 pounds|
**Below is a video for people who cannot access Youtube (e.g., people in China)