Bear-4 Sends HD Camera to the Edge of Space

This is the kind of thing I dreamed of doing as a kid. Okay, it’s the kind of thing I still think about doing now. I’m not sure how I missed this earlier, but thought it would be worth a post for those of you who might not have seen it yet.

The flight was a collaborative effort between Tomoya Kamiko of Japan and a group in Canada, and the result is absolutely amazing (if not a little shaky–but hey, give the guys some credit here). The video gets really remarkable around 5:42, once you can see the curve of the earth.

From their writeup:

The balloon and camera were launched at 7:44 AM, the balloon burst at 10:51 AM at 107,145 ft. and the camera landed via parachute at 11:40 AM, 89 miles from the launch site after a 3 hr. & 56 min. flight. The camera recorded a total of 4 hrs. & 22 min. of Hi-Def Video before it stopped recording 53 secs after landing, when its 32GB of memory was full.

Looking forward to seeing what the Bear-4 team does next!

The Discovery Channel also covered the event here.

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12 Responses to Bear-4 Sends HD Camera to the Edge of Space

  1. I'm sorry, but what the hell?

    I figured "Yeah, the good bit is at past 5 minutes, but it's Sunday. I've got nothing else to do. I'll just watch the whole thing."

    And then…it cut out the most important bit!

    Why not cut out all the faffing around at the start and just cut to where it went from 'earth' to 'space', sped up a bit? That's what people would have been watching for.

    As it is, it's actually kinda pointless…

  2. I’m sorry, but what the hell?

    I figured “Yeah, the good bit is at past 5 minutes, but it’s Sunday. I’ve got nothing else to do. I’ll just watch the whole thing.”

    And then…it cut out the most important bit!

    Why not cut out all the faffing around at the start and just cut to where it went from ‘earth’ to ‘space’, sped up a bit? That’s what people would have been watching for.

    As it is, it’s actually kinda pointless…

  3. Man oh man, I can't stand it when cameramen cant keep their camera steady. :P

    I totally agree with Andrew. What made the transition to apex unwatchable? That would have been the best part. IMO.

  4. Man oh man, I can’t stand it when cameramen cant keep their camera steady. :P

    I totally agree with Andrew. What made the transition to apex unwatchable? That would have been the best part. IMO.

  5. Anyone want to play cameraman that is less than one ounce in weight can go up on the next flight and hold the camera steady.

    We gathered a lot of water vapour on the lens on the way up, and didn't get good video for quite a distance. If you'd like to see water drops close up, I can send you a copy. Check youtube for BEAR-4, there's 10 minutes of hanging around at altitude.

    As for upcoming projects we're involved in… how about a manned mission to 130,000 feet, and then jumping out of the gondola for a freefall, then parachute descent?

    • Wow man.

      Yes, there's no easy way to keep it straight.

      Yes, there's no easy way to stop droplets forming.

      But there's no need to get all defensively sarcastic. Our points still stand:

      Those two things ruined the video. And it's not that fun or interesting to watch. It was boring through the sky when you see the same as any airplane view, then disappointing when it cuts, and then boring again when you see it's just a view from space you've seen online 100x before.

      I'm betting you were just as disappointed with the result as we were watching it, if not more so, because you were actually involved.

      But chalk it up to a bad experience and try to overcome these things in these new projects you are doing, which do sound more interesting. Live and learn and don't become a bitter, sarcastic douche.

  6. Anyone want to play cameraman that is less than one ounce in weight can go up on the next flight and hold the camera steady.

    We gathered a lot of water vapour on the lens on the way up, and didn't get good video for quite a distance. If you'd like to see water drops close up, I can send you a copy. Check youtube for BEAR-4, there's 10 minutes of hanging around at altitude.

    As for upcoming projects we're involved in… how about a manned mission to 130,000 feet, and then jumping out of the gondola for a freefall, then parachute descent?

    • Wow man.

      Yes, there’s no easy way to keep it straight.

      Yes, there’s no easy way to stop droplets forming.

      But there’s no need to get all defensively sarcastic. Our points still stand:

      Those two things ruined the video. And it’s not that fun or interesting to watch. It was boring through the sky when you see the same as any airplane view, then disappointing when it cuts, and then boring again when you see it’s just a view from space you’ve seen online 100x before.

      I’m betting you were just as disappointed with the result as we were watching it, if not more so, because you were actually involved.

      But chalk it up to a bad experience and try to overcome these things in these new projects you are doing, which do sound more interesting. Live and learn and don’t become a bitter, sarcastic douche.

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