Russian Amateurs Launch Globe to the Edge of Space

Illustration for article titled Russian Amateurs Launch Globe to the Edge of Space

Everyone loves a great homemade, photo-snapping, high-atmosphere balloon. But what about one carrying a globe with a little Buzz Lightyear figure standing on top? That has to be even cooler, right? Right. Thanks, Russian guys.

The team's unlikely-looking design used pretty standard methods to carry the special cargo above the clouds: hydrogen, a balloon, and a parachute. Throw in a GSM tracker and some GoPros, and the thing's a pretty special floater. Those GoPros weren't just along for the ride—the globe package snapped pictures of a lunar eclipse, and the Russian cityscape below. [English Russia]

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Most of these high altitude balloons go up 30-40km (I can't find details for this particular launch). Seriously high, but nowhere near "the edge of space". Space officially starts 100km up. That's like driving from NYC to LA, stopping in Memphis and saying you're "on the edge of the Pacific". Probably the single most abused bit of cliched hyperbole in reporting about amateur high-altitude projects.