Students successful with £90 space camera

Two American MIT students have managed to capture images of the Earth's surface with a home-made kit estimated to cost £90.

Oliver Yeh and Justin Lee's kit included a compact camera, a weather balloon, a mobile phone and hand warmers.

The camera was placed inside the cooler, and set on a timer, while the hand warmers were strapped to it so the battery would not freeze.

A GPS-enabled mobile phone with a wireless router to send GPS coordinates back to the pair was included.

The whole kit was then attached to a helium-filled weather balloon and sent to the edge of space with a parachute for when the balloon popped.

The balloon was launched on 2 September. It was recovered in Worcester, Massachusetts around 25 miles away from the launch site.

Justin Lee said: "We were like placing bets on whether we thought it would work or not. Early on, we were optimistic that it would work. About 4 hours after, [when] we hadn't heard any news about the device, we had sort of given up hope. We'd thought we'd lost it".

The signal was picked up, Lee added: "We were so excited, we jumped right back into the car, and we drove out to Worcester, and we found it. That was a great moment".