Breath-taking photographs of space recently were captured from 20 miles above earth, but these were no NASA images.

They were captured by four Spanish students armed with only about $140 worth of equipment, London's Daily Telegraph reports.

Under the guidance of their teacher, Jordi Fanals Oriol, the Meteotek team of IES La Bisbal school in La Bisbal d'Emporda, in Catalonia near the French border, took atmospheric readings and photographs last month with a digital camera lofted high above the planet by a simple helium-filled balloon.

Gerard Marull Paretas, Sergi Saballs Vila, Marta Gasull Morcillo and Jaume Puigmiquel Casamort built the electronic sensor components from scratch and successfully sent the latex balloon to the edge of space and took readings along the way.

Marull, 18, told the Telegraph the experiment was launched to see if the balloon would make it past 30,000 feet, which is the altitude commercial airliners fly. Instead, it made it to over 100,000 feet.

The 18- and 19-year-olds told the British newspaper they tracked their progress using an onboard radio receiver and Google Earth.

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