The space science group Quest for Stars built a home brew satellite with a weather balloon, a trio of ProHD cameras, and operated by a pair of Droid X Android phones. The phones were powered by 2600mAh extended batteries and were insulated against the cold of space with nothing more than a beverage cooler. The Droid’s were used for GPS tracking and for controlling the photo and video from the ProHD cameras. What’s really cool about the project was that it was timed to be at the edge of space during the final launch of the space shuttle Discovery. But that’s not all …
The mission of the Quest for Stars project is to bring awareness to space science and technology to today’s youth by showing them how they can take off the shelf products and create their own space program for studying science. The project payload, dubbed Robonaut-1, was not only able to get a great shot of the Discovery’s vapor trail as it powered it’s way to orbit, but it also captured dramatic footage of the weather balloon bursting and the payload free-falling tens of thousands of feet to the ground below. Engineers were amazed that the Droids not only survived the fall intact, but that they were able to track the payload via the Droid’s GPS within 5 feet of it’s location!
For more information on the Quest for Stars project, visit their website at http://questforstars.com/.