Live from TEDGlobal TED Conferences

TED Global newsmakers: Raspberry Pi goes to space

Posted by:


A raspberry has now gone where no raspberry has (presumably) gone before. The photo of the Earth’s curvature above was not taken with an expensive camera aboard a rocket. No, it was taken using a Raspberry Pi — the $25 single-board computer — and a Raspberry Pi camera, a new low-cost peripheral that started shipping two weeks ago.

Raspberry Pi was created by Eben Upton, who’ll speak at TEDGlobal 2013 during Session 11, “Tech Impact.” So how did his devices end up 40 kilometers in the air?

In March, high-altitude-ballooning enthusiast Dave Akerman had the idea to bundle both pieces into a lightweight piece of foam — in the shape of the Raspberry Pi logo, naturally — and launch them airborne aboard a balloon. On Monday, he finally got the clear weather and the CAA clearance to do so. During the device’s three-hour flight, the Raspberry Pi camera took these amazing photos of the Earth below.

The timing is fortuitous, as Thursday’s new edition of Wired UK makes Raspberry Pi its cover subject. The magazine’s coverline: “How Raspberry Pi conquered the world.” And now, the air.

Raspberry-Pi-3 Raspberry-Pi-2