Back in 2013, a few friends attached a GoPro to a weather balloon and let it climb above the Grand Canyon for a full 87 minutes — capturing some amazing footage of the edge of space in the process. There was just one problem: When the camera fell back down to Earth, it came down 50 miles away from the launch site, and they never could locate it.
End of story. Or at least it was until a few weeks ago, when a hiker ran across the camera in the desert and was kind enough to turn it in to the cell phone company, which managed to track the SIM card to the guys who launched it. Now we finally have a peek at the awesome footage they managed to capture.
Ironically enough, the team’s trajectory model was actually fairly accurate in projecting where the camera would land. But they were working from an inaccurate cellular data coverage map, and the camera came down in a dead zone (where the team had anticipated cell coverage) and couldn’t ping its GPS location. Oops.
Needless to say, this is an awesome display of amateur space geekiness. Check out a video chronicling the flight below, which also shows off the awesome homemade “space craft” they developed to protect the camera (hey, it worked!).