Near-space Balloon Photos
April 20, 2010 10:05 AM   Subscribe

The Icarus Project is Robert Harrison's " home brew project to send a camera high into the stratosphere to take pictures of the Earth from near space". Found via this AskMe answer; previously there was Project Icarus, with a similar goal.
posted by TedW (13 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Holy shit, those Flickr videos!!
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:24 AM on April 20, 2010

Brian: Are you The Icarus Project?
Reg: Bugger off!
Brian: What?
Reg: The Icarus Project! We're Project Icarus! The Icarus Project, God!

Those pictures make me a bit woozy. Something about the off-kilter view of the horizon and nothing between the viewer (me) and the great beyond.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:30 AM on April 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

The circuit's dead.
posted by jquinby at 10:45 AM on April 20, 2010

So this is what happens when you stop believing in gravity.
posted by Hicksu at 10:57 AM on April 20, 2010

By 2015, near-space pictures of earth had become the norm. Light sensitivity had improved so much that most camera manufacturers dispensed with the flash and replaced it with a pop-out balloon.

In 2016, self-described 'anti-entrepreneur' Grant M. A. Braech announced the Sisyphus Project, in which he undertook to produce a body of work consisting only of pictures taken from within earth's gravity well. But within months, angry investors were seeking their money back, after Braech 'accidentally' entered near-earth orbit when a floatibus in which he was riding was diverted due to a minor traffic accident and Braech neglected to deactivate his retinal recorder.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:09 AM on April 20, 2010

It's awesome that they did this with $150 worth of equipment. And they've found a suitably ambitious next challenge: a transatlantic flight.
posted by jjwiseman at 11:33 AM on April 20, 2010

I guess I'm the only one who got really excited thinking this was about an initiative to brew beer in space, right?...
posted by mannequito at 11:42 AM on April 20, 2010

OK, so the camera goes up 30K feet and then.....

Achieves near-Earth orbit? Comes plummeting down to Earth? 32.18 feet per second increasing every second until it hits terminal velocity, approximately 113 feet per second....

Try not to stand underneath it.
posted by zarq at 12:24 PM on April 20, 2010

This had already been done back in the sixties.
posted by rfs at 12:50 PM on April 20, 2010

Comes plummeting down to Earth?

It deploys a parachute on the way back down, zarq, slowing to apparently 10mph

Robert Harrison was also responsible for sending up and photographing a copy of The Sun newspaper as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations.

Ironically small world disclosure: I was Facebook Official with his sister last year, though I have never met Robert.
posted by Sparx at 2:12 PM on April 20, 2010

It deploys a parachute on the way back down, zarq, slowing to apparently 10mph

Ah! :) Thanks.
posted by zarq at 2:14 PM on April 20, 2010

I aim to found The Daedalus Project, whose mission is to warn The Icarus Project that they're making a terrible mistake, possibly using dense modernist prose.
posted by kersplunk at 3:50 PM on April 20, 2010

Personally, I'm a fan of The Register's PARIS project (Paper Airplane Released Into Space). They plan to send a balloon into the upper stratosphere and release a paper airplane.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:17 PM on April 20, 2010

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