Noisebridge, the San Francisco hackerspace, has a space program now. This past weekend was Spacebridge‘s highly successful first launch. With only a few meetings and a hurried week of building, they sent a weather balloon to almost 70,000ft and successfully retrieved the craft. Their balloon had an attached payload fitted with two onboard cameras which recorded some stunning video and photos like the one above. Also along for the ride was a G1 with custom written software, appropriately named Icarus, that recorded information from the GPS and accelerometer and relayed it back via SMS.
The launch was not without problems, including low temperatures (-21° c) wreaking havoc on batteries, a premature burst of the balloon, and a failed ham radio location beacon, but most everything else went well. Team Member Mikolaj Habryn has a write up of the full experience. Also worth a view is the amazing and nausea-inducing (stabilization is on the list for the next launch) video from the downward facing camera onboard.
images and video via Spacebridge