A group of engineering students and recent graduates flew a balloon to the edge of space near Fairbanks earlier this year. The group associated with the company, Night Crew Labs, built a balloon that took cameras up to 90,000 feet, or nearly 20 miles above the surface.
According to a summary posted by the team, the engineers brought their custom equipment and eight tanks of helium to the launch site with the intent of filming several scenes, including the northern lights:
On the morning of our first launch, we drove about 10 miles west of Fairbanks, and stopped at a parking turn-out off the side of the mountain ridge highway. We filled the balloon and prepared the camera payload as the air temperature was well below freezing. After the launch, we immediately drove to the expected landing site, Chena Lakes Recreation area, about 40 miles away. Using our real-time radio link, we could track the payload throughout the mission. We finally lost track of it when it descended below 2000 ft, and the line-of-sight radio link was lost. As was the case for both day flights, all the equipment worked, and we recovered both flights with relative ease. Each flight landed within half a mile from a road, requiring us to trek in with snowshoes.