Two Toronto teens have taken the LEGO man to new heights by launching the iconic yellow figure into space using a homemade weather balloon. High school students Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad lifted the little guy an incredible 15 miles above sea level, and the entire journey was documented by cameras.
The homemade weather balloon sported not just the LEGO man, but also four cameras that filmed the 97 minute ascension into the sky. The LEGO man hovered high above the cruising altitude of a commercial plane, surpassing the clouds and hovering in the stratosphere before returning to Earth.
The teens came up with the project as a fun idea to work on over the weekends. They spent weeks scouring Craigslist for used cameras that would shoot an image every 20 seconds during the journey. The snapshots were later made into a stop animation video to illustrate the full adventure. Without any sewing experience, they stitched the parachute and attached it to a weather balloon they ordered online which they filled with helium from a party store.
Fourth months and $400 later, they rigged up the LEGO man, a cellphone with GPS, and cameras protected by a custom Styrofoam box, with the LEGO man standing on a plank in front of the cameras. The vessel climbed a whopping 80,000 feet in 65 minutes before the balloon burst and the contraption coasted to Earth by means of the parachute.
The DIY experiment was inspired by a project where MIT students launched a balloon into space. The high school students successfully emulated the project with second hand materials, sending the first LEGO man into the stratosphere.
Via Toronto Star
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