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Found Footage: Homemade stratospheric capsule uses iPhone GPS


In the midst of all the excitement and hype surrounding today's announcements, we thought we'd share this popular and heart-warming tale of a father and son believing in their dreams and reaching for them.

Seven-year-old Max Geissbuhler and his dad, Luke Geissbuhler, dreamed of visiting space. After eight months of determination and preparation, and with the help of a weather balloon, a HD video camera, and an iPhone, they got pretty close. Housing the equipment in a specially designed, insulated case (filled with some hand-warmers) and hoping to capture "the blackness beyond our earth," the pair launched their explorer in August of this year. The video above is the story of that journey.

Climbing almost 19 miles, their craft flew into the stratosphere, capturing some rather impressive video footage along the way. International convention puts space at 100km. Once the weather balloon burst (due to lack of atmospheric pressure), the capsule began its decent back to the Earth -- aided by a deployed parachute.

But how did they locate the unit once it had landed back on earth? Well, that's where the iPhone came into play. They used a GPS tracking app on a borrowed iPhone (that's how you know who your real friends are, by the way) to locate the downed capsule and recover it.

From all of us at TUAW, we say well done to you, Max and Luke Geissbuhler. The family is now gauging interest in a 'how-to' book for other parental explorers.

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