In March 2015, an Arizona hiker found a GoPro while hiking on a Navajo Reservation near the Grand Canyon. Footage showed the source to be a Stanford University student’s aerospace engineering project.
When Stanford alumni Bryan Chan launched his GoPro into orbit via weather balloon on June 8, 2013, he had expected to retrieve it just hours later.
Two years after the fact, Arizona hiker Pearl Tsosie found the GoPro and a bonus cellphone intact.
Chan is quoted as saying “We were supposed to recover the GoPro and the phone two hours after the launch, but it ended up being two years. The GoPro and phone were projected to land in an area with cell coverage, but the problem was that the cell service coverage maps we relied on weren’t accurate, so the phone didn’t have signal as it came back to Earth. We couldn’t get the text it was supposed to send with the coordinates of where it landed.”
Tsosie said that she was able to find the phone’s owner by taking the installed ‘SIM’ card to an AT&T store.
Chan said “She was able to call my friend Ved, and we got the footage and data a few weeks later. We couldn’t believe it.”
It took two years for Chan and his classmates to see the amazing footage of the Grand Canyon and the Earth itself after the GoPro, which was attached to a high-altitude weather balloon, went missing out in the stratosphere.
Chan has said that he and his team are still living in the Bay area of California and they are certainly considering another epic GoPro launch.
Photo by Bryan Chan via ABC News