Impressive engineering

The very best engineering finds innovative ways to do something in a simple, elegant, and surprisingly original way. To see something that’s done at great cost and complexity and think of a completely new way to do it for a tiny fraction of the cost and effort is a unique satisfaction for the engineer who can pull it off.

Project Icarus is just such an achievement. At MIT they took photos from an altitude of nearly 100,000 feet (not quite into space, proper) for under a $150 investment. Photos are here.

A very nice touch to the project is that by keeping the weight of their device to a minimum they did not need to get FAA permission for the flight: it was actually legal.

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