VIDEO: Giles Academy launches iPhone into space

Pupils from Giles Academy have captured some stunning images of the earth from above after successfully launching an iPhone into space.

The launch was carried out as part of a charity event, and was the culmination of two years of work by pupils from the school along with their head of year eight and teacher of science Andrew Castley.

Giles Academy has sent an iPhone into space.

Giles Academy has sent an iPhone into space.

The mission started in Year 7 and a weather balloon filled with helium lifted the iPhone to the edge of space, approximately 18 miles above the surface of the earth; capturing footage of its three hour journey along the way.

A spokesman for the school said: “The images recorded include the village of Old Leake, the Wash and the curvature of the earth as it reached the edge of space and has since inspired hundreds of pupils, staff and parents. The school’s Facebook page (search Giles Academy) achieved over 4000 likes and the Youtube video (search ‘Giles Galactic’ or go here) almost 1000 views in just one day.“

“Mr Castley is now considering future projects, including sending other items into space, achieving greater heights and also deep sea exploration! Events such as this provide cross-curricular cohesion as it allows different subjects to play a role in the different aspects of development,” added the spokesman

The balloon and equipment was recovered fifty miles away in Downham Market and although quite cold, was intact.

Following the launch of the project two years ago by Mr Castley, the planning stages included working with A-level physics students to consider the flight path, weather conditions, lift force requirements and volume of the payload.

The data being captured also included the altitude, which was being measured by the on-board Eagle Space Flight Computer sensors and the iPhone 4s as well as the GPS location.

The iPhone, as well as a GoPro camera which is typically used for extreme sport activities, recorded the footage of the journey.

The launch, on July 1, at the school in Old Leake, was part of an annual event to raise money for the Ryan Smith Foundation – a charity set up after a bicycle accident left Ryan Smith with life threatening injuries.

The Foundation was set up by Ryan’s parents to raise awareness about wearing bicycle helmets, which Ryan didn’t have at the time of the accident.

Anyone who wants to sponsor such events and future missions should contact Ian Widdows by emailing