Hiker Finds GoPro in Desert Dropped From Space in 2013. The Footage is Immense...
Here's how a hike through the Grand Canyon turned into one of the best stories of the year...
At this point, there are few people who don’t know that a GoPro, when kept in the bizarrely sturdy case, is pretty much indestructible.
Seriously, you can smash it with a golf club, drop it to the bottom of the ocean, run it over with a car, and apparently even drop the thing from space and it’ll still be in working order. Seriously, that just happened.
The news has hit that a GoPro launched into space two years ago has recently been found by an Arizona hiker – and the SD card, GoPro and case were still well intact.
The GoPro was launched into space near the Grand Canyon by students at Stanford University on 8 June 2013 on a high-altitude weather balloon in order to gather data for an upcoming dissertation, and the footage it captured is truly amazing.
The edited video, which you can watch below, shows the preparation of the launch, the various different stages, and the GoPro then falling to Earth from space after the weather balloon bursts just under the two hour mark.
The plan was for the students to then collect the GoPro, which was attached to a phone with GPS signal, two hours after the launch of the balloon, but the GoPro and phone unexpectedly fell into an area without mobile coverage, and so both were lost for two years.
Bryan Chan, a Stanford alumni and student who was involved in the project, told ABC News: “The GoPro and the 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. We were supposed to recover the GoPro after two hours but it ended up being two years."
Needless to say, it will have come as a shock to Chan to discover that a hiker, named Pearl Tsosie, had found his GoPro after all this time. Pearl, an AT&T employee, was able to use the sim card of the phone to identify the owner and call a friend, and so the reunion was had.
The video may not have been much use for Chan’s dissertation, but the edited clip does already have well over three million hits on YouTube. Not bad, eh? Have a watch below: