John Gordon used a hobby kit to design a computer-controlled camera, then stuck it in a protective box and launched it into space (from Vulcan, Alberta) with a weather balloon. The pictures shot by his DiY satellite are breathtaking.
What we have here are just a few of the amazing photographs Gordon shot, and posted on his Facebook page here. He designed the computer controls using an arduino kit from open hardware activist Limor Fried's company Adafruit Industries. Gordon got his homemade creation to fly above 99% of Earth's atmosphere, 3 times higher than a commercial jet, and 1/7 of the way to the International Space Station. Time to get a kit from Adafruit and build your own!
Spaceduino via Adafruit Blog
Right after this picture was taken, at well over 100,000 feet above Earth, the weather balloon broke. The camera began to plunge back to Earth.
At this point the camera's fall is being broken by a parachute.
Back on Earth.
And retreived by its creator!