An amazing GoPro story has finally ended nearly fifty miles from where it started.
Over two years ago, in June of 2013, five friends came up with an amazing scheme. The plan was to attach a GoPro camera and a Galaxy Note II to a weather balloon and launch it up into the edge of outer space over the Grand Canyon. The hope was that on the way up and on the way down, the GoPro camera would capture some amazing footage.
The camera was launched from the desert in Tuba City, Arizona, about 20 miles west of the Grand Canyon. And for most of the 90-minute flight, everything was going exactly as planned. The balloon with its GoPro cargo rose to an altitude of about 18 miles before falling back to Earth. The GoPro camera was encased in custom-built box that would parachute back to Earth and be located with the assistance of the Galaxy Note II smart phone.
That was what was supposed to happen, but there was a problem.
One of the friends who came up with the idea posted about the issue on Reddit using the name trexarmsss.
“The problem was that the coverage map we were relying on (looking at you, AT&T) was not accurate, so the phone never got signal as it came back to Earth, and we never heard from it.”
The entire project was in peril. If the GoPro camera and cell phone couldn’t be found, all would be lost.
However, the camera was located in an unlikely spot almost 50 miles from the original launch point. Trexarmsss talked about how it was located.
“TWO YEARS LATER, in a twist of ironic fate, a woman who works at AT&T was on a hike one day and spotted our phone in the barren desert. She brings it to an AT&T store, and they identify my friend’s SIM card. We got the footage and data a few weeks later!”
The entire story of the GoPro’s flight to the edge of space and back over the Grand Canyon has now been documented in a YouTube video entitled “Grand Canyon from the Stratosphere! A Space Balloon Story.”
— Bea 😉 (@Beas_Space) September 13, 2015
These friends sent a GoPro up into the stratosphere to film the Grand Canyon – and the results are GORGEOUS http://t.co/dk3GaiUax1
— Mark W. Bennett (@newfrontiercio) September 13, 2015
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images