A few years ago, five Arizona friends planned to launch a GoPro camera and a phone into the upper atmosphere in a weather balloon to capture footage of space. College students Bryan Chan, Ved Chirayath, Ashish Goel, Paul Tarantino, and Tyler Reid built their gadget, calculated its trajectory, registered with the FAA to avoid interfering with passing planes, and then launched the balloon in the desert near Tuba City.
They intended to track the balloon’s movement using GPS on the attached smartphone, but as the device floated out of cell phone tower range, they lost contact with the locator.
For months, the group had been wondering if they would ever get their balloon and cameras back. In fact, they would have to wait two years to see the results of their work. After two years, they received a call from an unknown number informing them that a hiker in Arizona had discovered a strange box with their names on it 50 miles from their original launch location.
When the team was reunited with their equipment, they were able to see the incredible video and photographs produced by the cameras, including a stunning “money shot” of the Grand Canyon, captured from the stratosphere.
The friends also had the opportunity to analyze the data from their equipment, discovering that the balloon had flown for 1 hour and 38 minutes and reached a height of 98,664 feet (30 000m).
You can watch the recorded video below.
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