Space may be the Final Frontier, but with our kit you can send your iPhone to altitudes to take pictures like these! Very neat...
Near Space Balloon Photography Kit
Interested in Photography? Space? Weather? Science? Chances are you answered "yes" to at least one of these. Either way, this is admittedly "pretty cool."
The idea that you can take still pictures or videos at altitudes high enough to capture the vast darkness of space and the curvature of the earth is simply amazing. In fact, the current record for altitude for a weather balloon is 117,000 feet! To put that into perspective - passenger airplanes travel up to about 45,000 feet!
This picture was taken over western Colorado by a weather balloon lifted camera. You can take similar pictures with the Near Space Balloon Photography Kit!
So, friends and family I've talked to about this Kickstarter project have asked the inevitable..."why sell the kits?" The answer is relatively simple - you can spend months and months of your time researching all the potential variables and options, testing to ensure the products you purchased work and perhaps even a few test launches to make sure it all works - OR - purchase one of our kits where we have completed all of the research for you!!
The Near Space Balloon Photography kit is fantastic for school science projects, those who are interested in space, photography, or weather, and for those who would like to have their own pictures of the earth (to prove that the Earth is round). People of all ages will learn a significant amount of scientific information with our kits as well with the included book, "Ask Your Science Teacher" by Larry Scheckel and our very own book on the properties in play with this project.
Our kit is designed to work perfectly with the iPhone and current generations of iPods. The weight and timing has been done for you so all you need to do is add the specific amount of helium to the included weather balloon! If you are concerned about the slim possibility of losing your iPhone/iPod, you can add a camera/video camera and an inexpensive cell to provide GPS coordinates to the payload in place of the iPhone/iPod - or choose the Near Space Photography Kit Plus that includes the GPS unit as well.
We are trying to raise $7,500 in order to decrease the overall cost to reach a retail price point under $200 for the final product. In addition, we would also like to develop a more advanced kit that includes the ability to measure wind speed, barometric pressure, temperature and altitude right out of the box.
Yes, you will need to purchase helium from a local party supply or science store. If the balloon is launched as instructed with no additional payload, approximately 45 cubic feet of helium will be required for successful launch. As of January 2012, the anticipated cost is approximately $35.
You will also need to provide a camera or video camera (if you do not utilize an iPhone or iPod) with enough battery life to reach the peak of launch (approximately 60-90 minutes).
If you utilize an iPhone/iPod running the appropriate software as the instructions illustrate, GPS coordinates will be available through a web enabled phone or computer. The LED lights on the outside of the payload will also aid in recovery.
Absolutely. The payload is less than 4 pounds so the FAA does not need to be notified, however, as a common courtesy we recommend that you notify your local FAA station. If you live near a military installation, there may be additional rules and regulations as well. Be sure to check local laws before launching.