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Dublin: 11°C Friday 22 October 2021

A GoPro launched into space was found after two years - and the footage is beautiful


Source: Bryan Chan/YouTube

BACK IN 2013 a group of friends put a GoPro inside a box and sent it into the air above the Grand Canyon.

The plan was for it to rise, fall and be collected by the friends, who would track it using a phone placed behind the camera.

And it did rise:


And, after an hour and a half, it fell:


But when it came crashing down, nobody could find it. Their efforts were futile and the footage looked lost to the ages. Until a hiker came across it.

As Bryan Chan, who was part of the group, put it in a Reddit post:

“We planned our June 2013 launch at a specific time and place such that the phone was projected to land in an area with cell coverage.

“The problem was that the coverage map we were relying on (looking at you, AT&T) was not accurate, so the phone never got signal as it came back to Earth, and we never heard from it.

We didn’t know this was the problem at the time — we thought our trajectory model was far off and it landed in a signal dead zone (turns out the model was actually quite accurate). The phone landed ~50 miles away from the launch point, from what I recall. It’s a really far distance considering there’s hardly any roads over there!

“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. She brings it to an AT&T store, and they identify my friend’s SIM card. We got the footage and data a few weeks later!”

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