Quite a remarkable experiment that came so close to failure. Bryan Chan and his friends launched a weather balloon with a GoPro camera June 2013. GPS tracking failed and it was lost. The camera was found in the dirt 2 years later and returned to Bryan. There’s some great footage on it. He posted a short 4 min video on youtube.
The chances of capturing such stunning video were slim. I’ve watched it six times so far. Mesmerized by this incredible, once in a lifetime footage. Yeah, I’m a geek and love science. I hope he posts a much longer video from the 1 hour 38 min trip.
Daily Mail does a nice job summarizing the story and includes screen caps of the Grand Canyon from the edge of edge of the stratosphere (98,644ft - or 18.7 miles). I found it helpful because I didn’t want to read the entire redit thread.
I think the laws vary depending on where you are. They were out in the desert and there were probably no restrictions. But, it would be a good idea to check before doing a experiment like this. Their weather balloon did go up into the airspace used by commercial planes.