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D.I.Y. Space Adventures

You might think that launching a camera to the edge of space would be a multi-million dollar project. Not so for MIT students Justin Lee, 23 and Oliver Yeh, 20, who took near-space photographs with a $150 homemade camera that they launched themselves.

The D.I.Y. space camera pictures and time-lapse video below are pretty incredible. The results and details of the project, which has since been named Project Icarus, can be found on their site, 1337arts.com.

The project demonstrates that you don't need to be NASA -- its 2010 budget request is $18.7 billion, an increase of $1.1 billion from its request for 2009 -- to do amazing work. It's also an example of how inspiration coupled with creativity and hard work can help us all, ah, reach for the stars.

I caught up with Lee and Yeh through a video chat from their dorm at MIT:

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So what lies ahead for the two friends? Between finishing up school and making an appearance at the upcoming Geopoint Symposium, they hope to work towards breaking the amateur balloon travel record across the Atlantic Ocean. How's that for a fun side project?

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