Josh Taylor a 21-year-old from Guildford, Surrey, and his friend Edward Bishop have created a weather balloon which they have managed to send 118,000 feet up into the air to capture images of the edges of space. The project was called the Taylor Made Space Balloon and it was a joint and very ambitious effort.
Polystyrene box, hand warmers, a GPS tracking device and cameras
From the start of the project to getting those images of space took 10-months of planning and work.
The balloon which was home-made was put together using polystyrene box, hand warmers, a GPS tracking device and not forgetting the cameras. All items which are readily available and not specialist in any manner.
Cambridge was the chosen site to launch the balloon with the weather as good as could be expected and the balloon was filled with helium ready to launch.
After the balloon was released it was heading skyward just as planned and Josh and his team headed to the estimated landing spot but in the process the boys lost track of the balloon and were only receiving the sound of static.
“This sound was closely connected to the feeling of despair and hopelessness” said Josh.
However, they finally got a response from the balloon and they found that it was a few miles into the North Sea. A boat was arranged to pick the balloon up after it had survived the 15 hours in the ocean.
6 hours of footage
What they found recorded in the camera on a balloon built on a shoe string was 2,800 photos of space, the balloon was high enough to pick up the curvature of the earth and there was up to 6 hours of footage of the great unknown.
Talking about his projects Josh said that his goal with was to create something anyone can do with a small budget. He went on to say that: “There is plenty of stuff in the pipeline.”