Grand Canyon from the Stratosphere! A Space Balloon Story

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. :slight_smile: I hope he posts a much longer video from the 1 hour 38 min trip.

A redit thread documents the experiment.

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.

Drop an iPhone from waist-level, and it breaks.

Drop a GoPro from 100,000 feet, and it keeps recording after it lands.

Maybe a bit more than waist level. Never used a GoPro but I assume it has a few less parts to break than an iPhone.

very interesting…Arizona looks like Mars.

The footage was awesome. Also awesome was the fact that a woman went to the trouble of finding these people and returning their property to them.

Do you need any permissions or clearances to launch a balloon like that?

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.

Popular Mechanics has a short checklist for DIY balloon experiments.

Well, it had a parachute to slow it down.