In 2013, some friends attached a GoPro camera to a weather balloon, as was the fashion in those days. Encased in a 3D printed body, they drove to their launch site, 20 miles west of the Grand Canyon. The camera captured its journey on the way up, from above the team’s heads:
…to the edge of space itself:
And then the weather balloon burst, like weather balloons always do when they, like Icarus, reach too high into the sky. After climbing upwards for 87 minutes, the camera was tumbling back to earth, as planned.
That was supposed to be the end of it. The crew finds the camera, looks at the video they managed to capture from the edge of space, and then uploads a cool video to youtube. All that happened, but with a hitch: the team couldn’t find the camera when it fell. Two years later, a hiker found the rubble. Here’s how Bryan Chan, who launched the camera, explained it in a post on Reddit:
Watch the recovered video below, and marvel at the recent time capsule of our planet’s surface: