Space was the final frontier for students of Truro College to explore when they sent a camera up into the skies above.

The Raspberry Pi computer managed to capture an image usually only seen by those on spacecraft – although they were almost never seen.

The 17 students launched their Near Space Mission from mid Wales. The aim of the mission was to send a Raspberry Pi computer to high altitude, in order to record sensor data and take photos and video of the curvature of the earth.

The mission was the result of work from more than 50 students studying on the Level 3 Extended Diploma in software development at the college during the last 18 months.

The setup consisted of a helium balloon, a parachute, two Raspberry Pi computers controlling sensors, cameras, a radio transmitter and a high definition video camera. After launch the flight lasted just under two hours.

The equipment was tracked using a radio receiver and the students and staff followed the flight in two college minibuses.

It reached an altitude of over 80,000 feet (15 miles) and was exposed to temperatures below -40 degrees centigrade.

Unfortunately after 90 minutes, contact was lost. The staff and students searched the predicted landing area but there was no sign of it.

The backup phone was interrogated for coordinates but it seemed to be out of signal area.

Eventually the search was abandoned and the students were forced to return to Cornwall.

That was not to be the end of the story, however. The owners of a Welsh caravan site found the equipment in a large tree – and on it the incredible images of earth.