Two years later, a hiker in the Arizona desert came upon the camera – and the scientists are now showing off some striking shots of the Grand Canyon, and video of the 90-minute ascent to the outer reaches of our atmosphere.
The camera was recently recovered by a hiker, who tracked down Chan via the SIM card attached to the balloon.
This project took unprecedented views of Earth and chronicled fantastic aerial views of the Grand Canyon with their trusty GoPro along with a video camera recorder and a Samsung Galaxy Note II, all attached on a weather balloon. With the help of a smartphone application, the students planned on retrieving the phone and the cameras.
“We couldn’t get the text, it was supposed to send with the coordinates of where it landed”, said Bryan. However, all their plans failed when they found that communication with the smartphone had been ruined.
The expedition took a wrong turn after the payload fell to the desert floor 90 minutes into the trip at an altitude of about 18 miles. Surprisingly enough, all of it remained intact, even though it spent the next two years there. But the coverage maps they looked at weren’t accurate.
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. A few weeks later, the GoPro camera and the data from the two-year-old college science project were both back in the former Stanford classmates’ hands.
GoPro’s official YouTube account commented on the video, saying the company would like to hook the team up with a 4K HERO4 for its next flight.