A new video that recently surfaced online shows Arizona’s Grand Canyon as seen from the stratosphere. The colors are incredible!
The four-minute clip is pretty amazing—but the backstory may be even cooler.
Back in June of 2013, a group of friends launched what’s called a stratospheric weather balloon near Tuba City, Arizona (about 58 miles east of Grand Canyon National Park). The balloon was equipped with three cameras: a GoPro Hero3, a Sony Camcorder, and a Samsung Galaxy Note II.
They’d been working with Stanford University’s Aerospace Design Lab and wanted to survey the canyon with some new technology. (If you really want to deep-dive into the scientific specifics, you can read about their PhD research here.)
At first, everything went according to plan. The balloon ascended to 98,664 feet, and the friends were tracking its progress with the Samsung’s GPS. They had programmed it to land nearby and were planning on collecting it after an hour or two of flight time.
But then, as one of the friends, Bryan Chan, recently wrote on Reddit: “Due to some unexpected cell signal outages we never heard back from it that day. We were all moping around, making bets on when (if ever) it would be found for a while.”
Imagine their surprise, then, when they recovered their box this summer—a full two years after the balloon disappeared.
As Chan said: “just a couple months ago, a woman contacts us about finding a weird box with our name on it! We were all freaking out for a few days after we got a hold of all the video footage and data.”
Now we all get to enjoy the gorgeous results of their efforts! Check out the footage here.