Near Space Photography sponsors Royal Meteorological Society competition


Near Space Photography is sponsoring a competition to promote the investigation of the atmosphere. The Royal Meteorological Society has invited 11-16 students to design and build a science experiment to be carried through the atmosphere by a weather balloon.  Themes for the competition could include Earth observation, the atmosphere, Natural forces, cold temperatures, pressure or UV. Students could use a Raspberry Pi, or similar, to design and build their own tracker and/ or sensor package.
All entries must be submitted to the Head of Education at the Royal Meteorological Society by 17th February 2017.
The entry judged best by a panel of judges will be invited to build and launch their experiment.

High Altitude Ballooning with thermochromatic paints


This summer we had the pleasure to work with Fermynwoods Contemporary Arts  (FCA) in Northamptonshire. Amongst other things, FCA work with young students from the Northampton and Corby area to develop study skills through art, within the setting of Fermynwoods country park. In July 2016 FCA worked with two sets of students to explore space through art. helped the students launch high altitude balloons with their work on board. The students sculptures were coloured with thermochromatic paints sourced from Pigments were chosen to change colour between the ambient ground level temperature of around 15 degrees Celsius and minus 10 Degrees Celsius. In both flights colour change was observed within the first 15 minutes of flight as the payload passed through layers of cloud. The use of the pigments added a spectacular effect to the students work and engaged them in the properties of the paint.

Video of the colour change in thermochromatic paint during FCAP’s second flight.

Space – the final payment frontier

We have been working with Nationwide and their partners on an advertising campaign called Space – the final payment frontier. Today, Nationwide launch the campaign and we are proud to show off the footage we did for them. A special thanks to Martin Warner and Alex Kuzmin for making this happen.


The project has received press coverage here:


This is how Clover configured their payment tablet:



Third time lucky : Roger the teddy bear makes it to space


This summer, helped the children at Benhall Infants School send their school mascot, Roger the teddy bear, into space. But it was not easy and took 3 attempts. The first attempt in June ended in failure. We tried to launch the bear during a break in showers. We were all set for launch but the heavens opened again, the bear got wet and heavy. The wait gain meant the payload was too heavy to ascend so we stripped out some kit to lighten the load and launched. Unfortunately the rain did not stop and further showers made the bear heavier than his launch weight. So he just floated back down to Earth.

Unbeaten by this failure, we send Roger on a full flight into near space in July; courtesy of a flight for Fermyn Woods Arts Centre. But due to limitations of weight, we could not properly photograph Roger.

Roger finally got to star in his own balloon flight in August when we were able to run his own flight to near space. Well done Roger. Third time lucky! Roger will be featured on our sister web site,


Major Tom is lost in space


Last Sunday, 26th June, Near Space Photography and teamed up with Wisdom Design to celebrate action man’s 50th birthday, by launching him towards space in an original 1966 Mercury capsule and space suit from that age.


major tom

The project was funded by a successful kickstarter campaign which rewarded backers with custom designed and made dog tags, action man costumes, and capsules with custom painwork.


There were a few delays in the launch but we were finally cleared for lift-off at 16:30 on 26th June. Tracking went well (click here for more flight details) and it landed in just outside the village of Creaton in Northamptonshire… or at least we thought it did.

After following the SPOT location reports we entered a field on the edge of Creaton but could not see the parachute or capsule. After some considerable searching we found the trackers and the arm that they had been attached to. But no camera, no capsule, and no parachute. After talking to local residents we launched into a local and regional publicity campaign to find Major Tom.

Action Man missing after venture into space


Update on 2nd June.

The publicity campaign paid off. A farmer from the nearby community of Brixworth found the camera. He ran the video and discovered the theme of the project and after a little internet searching called me to let me know about his discovery.

camera found

camera and trackers

Flight path of trackers (red) and landing site of camera (yellow)

Launch announcement 14/06/2016

Tomorrow , 14/06/2016 I’ll be launching the PITS tracker and SPOT tracker 045 on a flight. Launch time should be between 11 and 12:00 UK time. Scooby details:

Custom shift 450

baud rate 300

bits per character 8

Parity none

Stop bits 2

Characters 72

RX tick

Tx tick

Use mark frequency Tick

Scanner frequency 434.250.8 Hz USB

Thanks to all the listeners and followers.

Near Space Photography helps marriage proposal


In May, Near Space Photography helped Adam, from Israel, to propose to his girlfriend in the most romantic way possible – through a high altitude balloon flight. Adam commissioned us to fly the engagement ring in a servo controlled box which was to open near apogee and display the proposal message. After one false start we nailed the footage in early May. After editing, the  footage was then shown to Adam’s girlfriend and we are now happy to announce that they are engaged to be married.

The video went viral in Israeli media last week and got mentions in the following online articles:


We to thank  coming to us with such a brilliant idea thank we would like to thank Paul from Nearsys for building the servo.