Tuesday, September 22, 2009


In the popular article about MIT students launching a camera into space, this segment was striking:

Four hours after the launch, Lee said, the team thought all was lost.

"We were like placing bets on whether we thought it would work or not," the 23-year-old mechanical engineering grad student said. "Early on, we were optimistic that it would work. About 4 hours after, [when] we hadn't heard any news about the device, we had sort of given up hope. We'd thought we'd lost it."

Dejected, the group drove back to Boston to Lee's apartment.

They checked his computer and found an unlikely signal: The camera had landed in a construction zone outside Worcester, Massachusetts, about 25 miles from the launch site.

"We were so excited, we jumped right back into the car, and we drove out to Worcester, and we found it. That was a great moment," Lee said.

They were amazed with the results. The camera was unharmed. The hand warmers were still hot. And the photos were amazing.

I imagine the three students driving out to the construction site. Who was the first to spot the styrofoam container? Were they quivering with anticipation when they pressed the Canon image-preview button?

When they saw the phenomenal photo with the black of space, did they experience an irrationally destructive temptation to press the delete button? Similar to standing by a cliff and repressing an unexplained impulse to jump off, which most of us have felt at one time or another.


Anonymous said...

even if they were too excited and pressed the delete button, there are ways to get back the files

timdub said...

I've wanted to do something like this since I was a kid. I would have been very excited to help in this project. I just found this blog, Niniane, after reading a popular article yesterday about google easter eggs. That's how I found out that Niniane kicks ass. =) I've been so intrigued by your writings, that I've nearly read your entire blog, in the past day. It's so raw and seems sincere. I'll probably be on my way, but that's how I am. When I find something really cool , I just indulge in it for a while. Haha. I hope to see some more interesting posts in the future. Thanks for the fascinating work.

neha said...

this is amazing!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, why do people have the impulse to jump off a cliff?