Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 25, 2012.

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For my 11 year old son's Science project, he wants to send a camera attached to a weather balloon to an altitude of approx. 90,000 ft.

Project Daedalus

   This project will be headed by my son Tobey, who is 11 years old. He has always been particularly interested in science and space exploration. For his Science Project, he is determined to build and send to near space a camera to photograph the curvature of the Earth and the black space above it.

  Our goal is to build and launch a payload container, which will house the camera or cameras, GPS system for tracking and recovery, and a heat source to keep the equipment from freezing at high altitudes. The payload container will be equipped with a parachute for its descent back to Earth.

  We will launch all of this with a 1200 gram Helium weather balloon which should reach an altitude of approx. 90,000 feet, at which time the balloon will break, and the parachute will deploy for the descent back to Earth.

  The camera(s) will be set to take pictures approximately every 20 seconds for the duration of the flight which will last 3-5 hours. This should provide a lot of gorgeous pictures of Earth's curvature and black Space above it.

  We plan on launching in June as it will take that amount of time to plan and build the system. We have looked at possible launch sites and feel that east of Yakima, Wa. would be the safest place for launch and recovery. The balloon and cargo can travel for over one hundred miles from the launch site to the recovery site, depending on atmospheric conditions.

  My son and I hope that with the successful launch and recovery of the payload, and the resulting pictures, that we will inspire other young kids to dream big. We will be sharing all of this with his fellow students, and maybe we can inspire other young children to collaborate on a project like this, and to accomplish things which otherwise seem out of reach.

  My son is amazed that HE, by himself, with some help from you, can launch something into near space and photograph the curvature of the Earth!

Materials Needed:

1 Large weather balloon
1-2 Helium Tanks
1 GPS  transmitter for tracking and locating payload
2 Canon 12mp Digital Cameras (one points back towards Earth and one points towards the horizon)
1 parachute for the descent
1 Payload container with heat source
Misc. such as Lithium batteries, antennas, lines, radar reflective material and probably a few other items.



 We will be posting all of the photos online, as well as documenting the complete build on his blog. Tobey's blog is www.projectdaedalus1.blogspot.com

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    3 backers

    Your name will be included on the flight manifest and a personal thank you from a very grateful 11 year old boy!

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    20 backers

    Receive (2) 4x6 photos from the highest altitude of the flight + your name on the flight manifest and a personal thank you from a very grateful 11 year old boy!

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    9 backers

    Receive (2) 5x7 and (2) 4x6 photos (all different views) + your name on the outside of the payload container, and a personal thank you from a very grateful 11 year old boy!

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    3 backers

    Receive a photo magnet of the best shot of the flight PLUS all of the above.

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    1 backer

    Receive an 8x10 photo from the top of the flight PLUS ALL of the above rewards.

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    You will receive a beautiful 5x10 Desk Calendar with up to 4 different photos from the flight on it PLUS ALL of the above.

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    2 backers All gone!

    You will get to place your business card or similar sized card in view of the camera as it ascends to the near edge of space, at an altitude of approx 17-18 miles high. You will receive an 8x10 photo of your card at the apex of the flight PLUS ALL of the above rewards.

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Funding period

- (30 days)