This thing is just stunning. One of the unsung benefits of digital SLR cameras–and the almost limitless storage space and ease of processing digital offers–is a resurgence of time-lapse photography. This one was taken from the Space Station. It really gives you a sense of what it looks like out one of the portal windows (I imagine)…and watching the earth spinning by underneath. Note how little of earth you can see…the Space Station, in Low Earth Orbit, is not all that high.
All posts tagged low earth orbit
Posted by DougReilly on November 16, 2011
In part one of this micro-series on spaceships within reach, I told you about a few citizen astronauts–kids and adults–who got to the edge of space with a high-altitude weather balloon, an iphone and a chinese food takeout box. A step up from that, in altitude, complexity and yes, expense, is the Tubesat Personal Satellite Kit. For $8000 Interorbital Systems will sell you a kit and launch a .75 kilo cylindrical, okay, hexadecagonal, satellite into low earth orbit, where it will orbit the earth for a few weeks before entering earth’s atmosphere and burning up. (Which is nice since it won’t contribute to the dreaded Earth-isolated ablation cascade). The little satellites can be designed to do a variety of things and have a standard radio (more…)
Posted by DougReilly on May 19, 2011
Astronautics is “the theory and practice of navigation beyond the Earth’s atmosphere”. Sounds like something that only government agencies with huge budgets (or Billy Bob Thornton, an empty barn and federal dairy subsidies) could tackle? Well, think again. Amateur astronautics is real and here. Over the next few posts, I’ll show you how it’s happening.
First up, The Brooklyn Space Program, the brainchild of a few New York nerds and theirs kids. (Remember, I mean nerd as a compliment.) These cool folks decided that instead of models of spaceships, they should just build and launch the real thing. Their platform of choice was a weather balloon. While it won’t break the surly bonds of earth, it reaches about 100,000 feet, about three times the comfy cruising altitude of a transoceanic jetliner. Not low earth orbit, but darn close.
Their spaceship was a styrofoam takeout container, tricked out with some extra padding, an iphone with a window for its video camera and some hand-warmers for when the temperature would drop to around 60′ (more…)
Posted by DougReilly on May 16, 2011