Today, August 9th at noon PT, a team of interns at Microsoft launched a balloon to the edge of space. David Rappaport, an intern at Microsoft had the idea to send a camera to space on a balloon. This was originally supposed to be a small pet project of David’s, but it grew to become much more.
By the end, this project involved many different Microsoft technologies such as Surface, Microsoft Azure, Internet Explorer and Bing apps, all to create an interactive experience. The FAA was even involved to ensure all federal guidelines were followed. The public were invited to help the team control the camera. A website was also created to stream live video of the flight.
The website now has video from the flight posted (see embedded video below). A chat system allows anyone to vote on where to point the camera. The site also posts the longitude and latitude of the balloon. The project also involves custom fiberglass and foam frame to hold the payload. Some of the details of their flight are on their site, but the rest will be released in a detailed technical write-up. As a bonus, the team added a ‘beloved Xbox character’ to the payload whose identity was a mystery before launch.
What do you think? Cool project? Have you ever done anything like this? Let us know in the comments below!Further reading: Bing, Microsoft, Surface