We've seen iPads and iPhones launched into the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere, but nothing so fitting as a vehicle designed for space flight. Now we can mark that off the list, too, as a Romanian teenager named Raul Oaida sent a LEGO Space Shuttle high into the stratosphere through a familiar weather balloon rig. With backing from entrepreneur Steve Sammartino, Oaida engineered the entire project, which involved sending up the balloon with a parachute and tracking its ascent and descent with GPS software.
Oaida built a balsa wood mount for a GoPro camera to shoot the space shuttle (which hung onto the balloon with nothing but fishing wire) from a dramatic angle. Then he packed up all his stuff and launched in Germany, where it was much easier to get flight clearance. The shuttle came down, undamaged, 150 miles from where it launched. Watch the video below!
Oaida's list of equipment used for the project:
1600g Weather Ballon
Rocketmodel parachute - slowing things down on the descent
Spot GPS - for recovery
GoPro Hero - video camera
Kodak Zx1 - video camera which took shit images I couldn't even use
New Trent - external battery for the GoPro (broke down before leaving for Germany)
Handwarmers - keepin' it warm at -50 Celsius
40mm Sytrofoam - building the box
Fishingwire - attached the shuttle by 5 wires
LED Beacon - in case of night recovery
Balsa wood - made the camera arm from it to obtain that filming angle.
Lego model 3367