There’s a short but growing list of awesome people who have successfully launched DIY aerial photo and video rigs. Add to that list father/son duo Luke and Max Geissbuhler and their personal homemade spacecraft. This is my favorite of the many I’ve seen so far due to the ingeniously effective system to keep the corkscrew-like spinning to a minimum, as well as the choice to use a HD video camera instead of time-lapse photography. The two pieces actually work well together – many of these projects have spun too violently for any video output to be enjoyable.
The Luke and Max project used the following materials:
– Weather balloon designed to pop when it reaches 19′ in diameter (the balloon grows in size as it elevates into thinner parts of the atmosphere)
– GoPro HD camera (the best lightweight, rugged, waterproof camera – Mythbusters uses them a lot, and they only cost $250. They’re seriously awesome)
– iPhone with GPS and Instatracker enabled for measurement and recovery
– A couple handwarmers to keep things running in the cold, windy extremes 90,000′ over the surface of the planet
Launched from upstate NY and collected 30 miles away, it completed the journey to space and back in just over an hour and a half. Wonderfully, much of the process leading to launch and immediately afterward was documented and is available to watch and inspire you. Enjoy.