A TEENAGER has taken some amazing shots of space using nothing more than a camera in a balloon.

The high altitude balloon was launched by former RGS Worcester pupil Adam Cudworth from a field near his home in Uphampton, near Ombersley.

Despite some initial problems filling the balloon because of a faulty helium adapter, the balloon reached nearly 30km in altitude – its highest reported GPS position was 29,958m.

The coldest outside temperature recorded during the flight was -63.1C.

After a flight of two-and-a-half hours, the balloon landed near High Wycombe and was recovered from a field about an hour later, once Adam had caught up with it.

The latex balloon, which measured nearly two metres in diameter when inflated with helium, is similar to those used by the Met Office to measure the weather.

Attached to it was a parachute and an insulated box carrying a camera, gps, radio and microprocessor to track the balloon’s progress and two temperature sensors.

Two small but high performance solar panels were also attached to the box.

He said: “I’m really pleased especially as the first one failed to take any photos.

“The photos were taken just to have them but I collected solar panel data to see the possibility of powering future flights with solar panels.”

We reported last year how Adam’s first launch in July ranked second in the UK for reaching the highest altitude.

The balloon reached an impressive height of 35,824m (117,533ft), which was 382m below the UK record of 36,206m recorded by the UK High Altitude Society.

Despite the balloon not flying as high this time, the 18-year-old, who is now studying economics at Nottingham University, said: “In the winter the balloon often drifts in an easterly direction very quickly, so to prevent losing all the equipment and to make sure it lands in the UK the balloon needs to ascend fast to burst.

“This means the burst altitude is lower as more helium is pumped into the balloon on the ground to achieve a faster ascent rate.

“The balloon pops when a certain diameter is reached as the gas inside it keeps expanding on the way up.

“But the altitude reached at the weekend is still about three times the height that commercial aircraft travel and is at the edge of space.”