First Photos: Shuttle Discovery’s Trail Into Space As Seen from Over 70,000 Feet in a Balloon

By Keith Cowing
February 25, 2011
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This photo was taken from an an altitude of over 70,000 feet (still being determined exactly) at 5:20 pm EST on 24 February 2011. The camera used was the lowest resolution camera on board the Robonaut-1 balloon – a Motorola Droid X smartphone. You can see the plume left by Space Shuttle Discovery as it headed into space. We will be releasing more images of greater resolution and HD video very soon – all of which show Discovery heading into space. Photo credit (mandatory) Quest for Stars/Challenger Center.

This is a frame grab from a video shot by a GoPro Hero Motorsport – the fogging is due to the fact that we were coming though the troposphere – taken at 5:05 pm EST. Photo credit (mandatory) Quest for Stars/Challenger Center.”

Co-sponsored by the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, this mission is one in a series of flights conducted by Quest for Stars, a California-based non-profit educational organization that uses off-the-shelf hardware and a little ingenuity to allow students to place experiments at the edge of space at exceptionally low cost.

Quest for Stars and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education have now joined together to promote the use of these low cost delivery systems. This mission will be the first of what is hoped to be many future collaborations.

Robonaut-1 Balloon Mission Live Video and Mission Updates
Challenger Center and Quest For Stars Chase Attempt to Photograph Discovery At The Edge of Space

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.