In June 2013 five friends decided to go out into Arizona and take some footage of space when they attached their GoPro recorder to a weather balloon and sent it up into the sky. This was the last they saw of it for two years and when it returned it was worth the wait as it gave them some amazing shots of Earth it had taken from space.
Students Got FAA Approval To Launch Near To Tuba City
College students and friends Bryan Chan, Ashish Goel, Ved Chirayath, Paul Tarantino and Tyler Reid decided to build a device and calculated the trajectory of it then registered it with the FAA so that it wouldn’t interfere with any aircraft that might be passing. The balloon carried a GoPro Hero3, Sony camcorder and Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphone, with the two camera recording footage and the smartphone taking the photos. They finally decided to launch the balloon out in the desert just a few miles from Tuba City.
The group wanted to track the progress of their balloon via GPS that was on a smartphone; however, they lost contact with the location once the device and balloon went out of range of the cell phone tower. This left them wondering for many months, if they would ever see the balloon ever again or if they would get their cameras back from the balloon.
Hiker Found Balloon And Equipment Two Years Later
The group waited and waited and then gave up on the idea of ever seeing it again. However, two years later they did get to see the results from their project when they received a call from a hiker. The hiker had been out in Arizona and had come across a box with the names of the group on it, around 50 miles from where they originally launched the balloon.
The team had hoped that the balloon would have captured what they thought would be the money shot, the Grand Canyon photographed from the stratosphere. They processed the data taken from the device that had been attached to the balloon and found out that it had reached 98, 664 feet and had a flight time of 1 hour and 38 minutes in total.
The footage they managed to get from the camera was more than they had hoped to get and they managed to retrieve all of the original images and made a 4-minute video that offers a look behind the scenes of their incredible story.