adam cudworth student takes stunning snaps of space using only a 30 second hand camera and a balloon

// World | adam cudworth student takes stunning snaps of space using only a 30 second hand camera and a balloon
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
  • Device costing £200 launched by Worcestershire teenager Adam Cudworth
  • Spent 40 hours working on box with GPS tracker, radio & microprocessor
  • Located device after fall back to earth having reached speeds of 150mph

By Mark Duell

PUBLISHED: 05:15 EST, 9 September 2012 | UPDATED: 07:06 EST, 9 September 2012

When you think how much it costs the likes of NASA to take astonishing images like this, it’s even more impressive what a teenager can do on a £200 budget.

Adam Cudworth, 19, of Ombersley, Worcestershire, managed to capture these incredible views of the earth from space - using little more than a balloon and a second-hand £30 camera bought on eBay.

With a scientific background consisting of just a physics A-Level, Adam spent 40 hours working on a homemade box with a GPS tracker, radio and microprocessor - which he released last Thursday.

Cheap device: Adam Cudworth managed to capture these incredible views of the earth from space using little more than a balloon and a second-hand £30 camera bought on eBay

Cheap device: Adam Cudworth managed to capture these incredible views of the earth from space using little more than a balloon and a second-hand £30 camera bought on eBay

Aerial: This photo was taken as the device, which took Adam 40 hours to build, found its way up to space

Aerial: This photo was taken as the device, which took Adam 40 hours to build, found its way up to space

Spectacular: The images look like they could be the latest taken from a multi-million pound NASA satellite

Spectacular: The images look like they could be the latest taken from a multi-million pound NASA satellite

After taking two-and-a-half hours to float more than 20 miles up into the earth's stratosphere, the impressive device captured these amazing views from space.

He used a GPS tracker similar to a car's satellite-navigation unit to follow its progress and located it with a radio transmitter following its fall back to earth, having reached speeds of more than 150mph.

But the modest teenager, who is now an engineering student at the University of Nottingham, said today that the results were nothing more than 'a little project' and a ‘bit of a hobby’.

He said: ‘I just wanted to set myself a challenge - but I'm amazed at the results. I saw a guy who did a similar thing a couple of years back and I just wanted to recreate them - but better.

Modest: Adam, who is now an engineering student at the University of Nottingham, said today that the results were nothing more than 'a little project' and a 'bit of a hobby'

Modest: Adam, who is now an engineering student at the University of Nottingham, said today that the results were nothing more than 'a little project' and a 'bit of a hobby'

Technological prowess: The built-in circuit board allowed Adam to record the speed, G-force and altitude his balloon was reaching at all times

Found: Adam is pictured with his brother Ben, 12, and his balloon contraption, which climbed to three times the height of a commercial plane before it burst

Found: Adam is pictured with his brother Ben, 12, and his balloon contraption, which climbed to three times the height of a commercial plane before it burst

'I have no background in astrophysics - I'm just an engineering student. People think it’s something that costs millions of pounds but I've proved you can do it on just a £200 budget.’

'I have no background in astrophysics. People think it’s something that costs millions of pounds but I've proved you can do it on just a £200 budget'

Adam Cudworth

Adam bought a standard Canon A570 camera on eBay around 18 months ago when he first had the idea for the project.

He placed it in an insulated box along with a small video camera, two temperature sensors, two high-performance solar panels, a tracking device, microprocessor and radio.

The student then attached it to a high-altitude two metre latex balloon with a parachute - and named his contraption ‘HABE 5’.

Following the launch, he tracked the balloon as it climbed to three times the height of a commercial plane before it burst and landed in Broadway, Worcestershire - 30 miles from his home.

Amazing: This photograph snapped by Adam's device after take off shows the city of Worcester in view

Amazing: This photograph snapped by Adam's device after take off shows the city of Worcester in view

Landscape: This photo taken after take off shows the A449, River Severn and Worcester in the distance

Landscape: This photo taken after take off shows the A449, River Severn and Worcester in the distance

Soaring: Video footage taken alongside the photos shows it swirling through the clouds to dizzying heights

Soaring: Video footage taken alongside the photos shows it swirling through the clouds to dizzying heights

The built-in circuit board allowed Adam to record the speed, G-force and altitude his balloon was reaching at all times.

Video footage taken alongside the photos shows it swirling through the clouds to dizzying heights.

'I just wanted to set myself a challenge - but I'm amazed at the results. I saw a guy who did a similar thing a couple of years back and I just wanted to recreate them - but better'

Adam Cudworth

He added: ‘When I retrieved the camera I was stunned - it had captured some incredible photos and footage. The exposure settings were different to my previous two attempts.

‘I used materials which would be more robust in extreme temperatures and this led to clearer photos at altitude. The onboard video camera recorded great footage close to the ground after launch.

‘However the lens fogged up at about 3km (1.9 miles) in altitude because moisture got in - but it still looked rather impressive.

‘I'm now working on project, which will allow me to control where the box lands when it falls back to earth. But that's work in progress at the minute and I'll have to be content with this for now.’


Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

yvonne nelson’s cousin jason blasts iyanya for being disrespectful

Following the to and fro between the pair, a new tattoo has surfaced which gives a new dimension to what really may have panned out ... Full story

dad kills son for eating his gari

A 45-year-old farmer of Agona Obosomase in the Agona East District of the Central Region, Kwesi Appiah has beheaded his four-year-old son, Kofi Takyi, for ... Full story

helicopter chases nana addo dankwa akuffo addo

Unusual night helicopter movements in the general area of the residences of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo near the Nima Police Station, and that of New ... Full story

nigerians upset with juliet ibrahim s comment

Ghanaian actress Juliet Ibrahim is caught in the middle of rising disquiet among showbiz followers in Nigeria following comments she passed on attempts to raize ... Full story

ghana, other african countries slam uk’s draconian policy

Several Ghanaians have slammed the United Kingdom’s “iron curtain” immigration policy that will require visitors to the country paying a whopping £3,000 (approximately GH¢9,000) cash ... Full story

policemen run for dear lives at ashiaman

A violent demonstration by drivers and a section of the youth of Ashaiman yesterday in protest against the poor conditions of roads in the municipality ... Full story

michael essien secretly weds his publicist akosua puni

There have been speculations for months now that Ghanaian footballer and Chelsea star Michael Essien is married to his publicist, Akosua Puni, a report they ... Full story

yvonne nelson breaks silence on romance and break up with iyanya, “i really really loved him”

We love the way her name rhymes, we love watching her act on our screens, we love to hear the interesting tales about her life ... Full story

ruth williams of tv3 i was raped twice

Ruth Williams, a former contestant of TV3′s singing reality competition, Mentor one has made a chilling confession that she had been raped twice and abused ... Full story

ghanaian artiste sarkodie in love

Ghanaian award-winning artiste Sarkodie has disclosed that there is one particular ‘fan’ who he has fallen in love with. The love life of the 2012 Black ... Full story

ghanian model afi antonio denies relationship with kofi adjorlolo

30-year-old photo model, Afi Antonio, has denied reports that she is in a relationship with ace actor Kofi Adjorlolo. The supposed relationship made headlines two weeks ... Full story

Comment on: adam cudworth student takes stunning snaps of space using only a 30 second hand camera and a balloon

Breaking News

Kejetia traders demonstrate against KMA relocation ultimatum

Traders in Kumasi have hit the streets in protest over an ultimatum by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) for them to re-locate within two months. Clad in red, ...

Photos: Bawumia’s lecture on Ghana’s IMF bailout

The running mate of the New Patriotic Party Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia  on Tuesday  March 24, 2015, addressed a public lecture  organized  by the Central University ...

Man defiles 9-year-old girl in toilet

Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service at Community Two, Tema, has apprehended a 63-year-old man for allegedly defiling a ...

Video: Family prays for death of son with Down Syndrome

[unable to retrieve full-text content]local news, ghana local news ...

Sakawa boys threaten to teach Minister 'bitter lesson'

The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Limuna Mohammed Muniru, says his life is under threat following text messages he has received from some internet fraudsters, popularly ...

CWG Ghana rewards best graduating computer science student at University of Ghana

CWG Ghana has rewarded Lydia Dugbakuor Akuaku, the 2013/14 best graduating student of the Computer Science Department, University of Ghana, Legon. Ms. Akuaku, who graduated with ...

Today’s Front Pages

NPP BOILS OVER MOVES TO PROMOTE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION A move by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to promote affirmative action in the party by reserving seats ...

Crocodiles 'visit' Kumasi homes

[unable to retrieve full-text content]local news, ghana local news ...

Report on Kumasi Central Prison riots presented to Ashanti REGSEC

[unable to retrieve full-text content]local news, ghana local news ...

IMF bail-out can only build three Kumasi Markets- Bawumia

NPP vice-presidential aspirant has reduced the monetary benefit of Ghana's $940million IMF bail-out as capable of building only three Kumasi markets. In an attempt to make ...