When student Bryan Chan and his four friends sent a GoPro up into space attached to a balloon two years ago, they didn’t expect much. By now, they had probably all but forgotten it. But this week, the camera miraculously made it’s way back to them – complete with some insane footage.
A hiker stumbled across the camera in the dirt near the Grand Canyon and managed to reunite the camera with it’s owners. Chan had posted on Reddit about their project, hoping that this might help the camera to get back to them one day. In the post, he explained: “We used GPS on a smartphone to continuously log the phone’s location on its memory card. The standard GPS receiver these days can track your phone well above 100,000ft.”
“The phone was projected to land in an area with cell coverage. 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.”
It turns out, perhaps most miraculously of all, that the camera filmed continuously as it fell back to Earth over the course of almost half an hour. It survived collision with the ground and the students have been able to upload an edited version of the footage onto YouTube.