Send a 360 Camera to the Edge of Space….












Step 1: Purchase Supplies

Weather Balloon

I used a 300g version. Weather balloons are measured by their weight in most cases. the dimensions you’ll need is predicated on the load of your payload plus factors like your burst altitude and time of flight. we’ll get into all of that within the calculations section.


The size of your parachute will depend upon the descent rate you’re shooting for. In my case i used to be wanting around 17ft/sec so I went withthe 4ft version since my total weight was about 2 lbs.

Insta 360 One X

There are many projects which will use a typical GoPro, for this one I wanted to urge 360 footage so I used the Insta360 One X.

GPS Tracker

You are not getting your payload back without one among these. Some people will try an old telephone with it’s built-in GPS. Most of those get rid of of the cellular network which won’t work on high altitude. confirm and obtain a fanatical GPS unit.

Payload Box

These are insulated and little , which is ideal to project all of your gear. cord To tie your payload to the parachute and therefore the parachute to your balloon you’ll got to use line which will separate a 50lb force. this is often per FAA regulations.

External charger

This will keep your camera powered the whole flight.

Nitrile Gloves

Step 2: Build the Payload

The assembly of the payload is pretty simple. I actually aroused having to shop for a cooler from our local grocery that was too tall. I cut this right down to size to assist keep the payload from tipping over once it landed. This was to stay the GPS unit always pointing towards the sky.

I created an X assembly with the mixture of the selfie stick that comes with the Insta360 and a wooden dowel. Not only did this get the camera pushed beyond the payload for a far better shot but gave the general assembly a good footprint for landing.

Step 3: Find the Weight

Once you have completed the payload make sure and get a weight of everything except the weather balloon. This includes the rigging, payload box, and parachute.

You will need this weight for some calculations.

Step 4: Check Your Regulations

1. Issue a NOTAM

This is a Notice to Airmen. It is a means of contacting your local FAA Air-Traffic Control. You will want to do this 6-24 hours before launch and let them know the following:

  • Launch date/time
  • Launch location
  • Estimated time to burst altitude or 60,000 ft.
  • Expected flight duration
  • Estimated location of impact
  • Diameter of ballon
  • Weight and length of payload.

We will get to all of those calculations in the next section.

2. Find an optimal launch location

It’s best practice to make sure your launch and landing locations are out of controlled airspace.

Step 5: Calculate Positive Lift

For me, I was trying to get the highest altitude possible while remaining under 5 ft/s on the ascent rate. Anything higher than that you can run the risk of the turbulence messing up your flight.

Also the Helium tank I rented contained 75 cubic feet, so I had to keep my positive lift low enough that I had enough helium for the calculations.

I went with a positive lift of 700 grams. Which got me just under 5 ft/s with enough Helium.

Step 6: Determine Landing Zone

Here is an example of a simulation I ran. One thing to note is that the Nozzle lift is the total weight of your payload PLUS the positive lift. So literally the amount of lift you will need if you measured it from the nozzle of the balloon.

Step 7: Attach Weather Balloon to Helium

I used a metal bracket to connect some clear tubbing to the helium regulator. I had to use my heat gun in order that I could slip it far enough down the nozzle.

For the weather balloon I used a 1.5 section of PVC that inserted into the throat of the balloon. it had been zipped into place with a string that i might use a security line also because the string that might attend the parachute.

I could then insert the smaller clear tubbing through the PVC tube and sync it down in order that no helium would leak.

Step 8: Fill Up Weather Balloon

Since i do know that my positive lift is 700 grams I used a scale to live the quantity . This scale also served as my safety when filling up the balloon. One end of the size was tied round the PVC pipe at the mouth of the balloon and therefore the other end was tied round the helium tank.

For the particular reading on the size i want to feature the load of the payload and rigging plus the positive lift. the load of the size was then subtracted from that number to urge around 3.1 lbs. I filled up the balloon until I need to that time .

For this launch, I actually aroused having a tank smaller than i assumed so I only need to 2.8 lbs which cause a way slower ascent rate (and a way longer driver time to recover).

Step 9: Prepare Everything for Launch

Before launch, I tied everything together. The payload was attached to the parachute with about 4ft between them. The parachute was then attached to the weather balloon with another 4-6ft of line.

I removed the helium tube careful to not allow any other helium to escape. I quickly twisted the end off, folding it and secured it with several zip ties.

Step 10: Launch the Weather Balloon

Here are a few things you will want to double-check before launch:

  • NOTAM filed with FAA (if you go this route)
  • Balloon Nozzle Lift is confirmed from fish scale
  • Camera on and Recording
  • GPS Tracker on and sending GPS data
  • External battery powering all electronics
  • Contact information placed inside
  • Payload is sealed (in case of a water landing)
  • All strings are tied and double-checked
  • Sky is clear of obstructions plus any planes/balloons


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