NASA‘s space missions cost millions and millions of dollars, but a British teenager has managed to get some stunning shots of planet Earth using just a camera he bought on eBay and a do-it-yourself spacecraft.
Nineteen-year-old Adam Cudworth spent just 40 hours and about $600 to grab the images you see above, according to a Telegraph report. He placed the camera, a simple Canon A570, in an insulated box with a GPS device, radio transmitter and microprocessor. Then he used a balloon to send the makeshift spacecraft more than 20 miles into the sky — high enough, his photos show, to capture dramatic views of the Earth’s curvature.
The device took about two and half hours to ascend, then Cudworth used the GPS and radio transmitter to locate its landing spot about 30 miles away from his home, the Telegraph reports. Cudworth was also able to track the package’s speed and altitude using a built-in circuit board.
“When I retrieved the camera I was stunned — it had captured some incredible photos and footage,” he says.
The precocious — and successful — stunt might lead you to believe Cudworth is some sort of child science prodigy. But that’s not the case. He’s an engineering student at Nottingham University whose highest formal science background consists of a standard physics course.
“I have no background in astrophysics or anything like that, I’m just an engineering student,” Cudworth tells the Telegraph. “People think it’s something that costs millions of pounds, but I’ve proved you can do it on just a £200 budget.”
What’s the coolest do-it-yourself space project you’ve heard of? Tell us about it in the comments.