7th graders take pictures that show curve of earth

With a budget of $200, science students in McLean, Virginia figured out how to launch a digital camera 100,000 feet, taking pictures, and get it back safely.

Some pictures the camera took are in the slide show (you may have to register at the Washington Post).

Awesome! That’s a Great teacher for supporting such an endeavor!

That’s fantastic!

Cool. Being a map geek, I had to track down the landing site. Here are the buildings shown in the penultimate photo.

Didn’t a guy in the UK do this a few months ago w/ the same method?

I love that. I want to try it myself.

Did that balloon really fly 100 miles? :eek:

Yeah, that’s a total copy of what was done by MIT students and also a British dude.

Pfft. The challenge was to do this for under $200, and they spent $213. “F”'s for the lot of them!

Interesting. But what about flying into controlled airspace? Call me paranoid, but I’d hate to hit the sucker on the way down in a commercial jet. Can someone fill me in on how you pull of a science experiment like that?

We made hot air balloons in 7th grade. It didn’t happen my year, but our teacher said a class caused some issues for a nearby airbase for showing up as a UFO on radar.

Well, yes, but it flew from Chambersburg, PA to that Walmart on the eastern shore.

Without knowing anything about it, my guess is they chose Chambersburg in an attempt to get away from the Chesapeake Bay - as their contraption wasn’t designed to land in water. They got lucky.

Makes me wonder then how they managed to find it. Unless they included a GPS or something.

I know that for large scale model rocketry (reaching altitudes of 10,000+ feet or something like that) you can – indeed must – get FAA clearance. I’ve seen software for sale that not only calculates the flight path of the rocket, but will print out the necessary govrnment forms.

On their site it says that the box did indeed contain a tracking device.

Brilliant in its simplicity - it was a cell phone.

Cheap, too. I was just looking at some commercially available rocket tracking systems, and found one that would track up to 9 miles away.

For a mere $189.