- Publish Date
- Monday, 14 September 2015, 8:02AM
As miraculous stories go - this is one of the highest order. Literally.
A group of students who lost their GoPro after using a balloon to send it 98,000ft high had their camera handed in two years later.
Bryan Chan and his four friends were even more amazed when they viewed the long-lost footage, which showcases spectacular views of the Grand Canyon from the edge of the stratosphere.
The five students attached the camera and a smartphone to a helium weather balloon before launching it not far from the canyon in Arizona in 2013.
They had planned to use GPS to monitor the balloon's position, which should have allowed them to easily retrieve the camera when it fell down to earth.
But their plan did not work out - with the phone losing signal as it plummeted to the ground.
In a Reddit post, Mr Chan said: "We used GPS on a smartphone to continuously log the phone's location on its memory card. The standard GPS receiver these days can track your phone well above 100,000ft.
"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."
But incredibly, more than two years after the friends gave up hope of finding the camera, a hiker stumbled across the camera and phone in the dirt.
In a twist of fate, the woman happened to work for AT&T and was able to take it into a store and identify the owner of the SIM card.
Weeks later the phone, camera and its remarkable footage was returned to the students, who have published the video on YouTube.
The spectacular video shows the men launching the balloon and watching it rise into the sky.
As it soared to 98,644ft - the GoPro captured breathtaking views over the Grand Canyon and across the plains of Arizona.
The footage also shows the moment the weather balloon reached its maximum altitude and burst, before tumbling to the ground at hundreds of miles an hour.
The balloon's full flight took an hour and 38 minutes, before sitting in the dust for more than two years.
Source- NZ Herald