A couple of years back, June 2013 to be precise, a group of friend numbering 5 made up their minds to capture space using camera. All they needed to carry this through were a weather balloon, mobile phone, camcorder and a GoPro. They built the balloon and got ready all the equipment required. They calculated the trajectory of the device and equally registered their balloon and its constituents with the FAA to ensure their launch does not in any way interfere with any aircraft that may be passing at the time. The launch of the balloon took place some miles from Tuba City, which was a desert. Their intention was to use the GPS on the mobile phone to track the progress of the launch.
The five friends were actually college students named Tyler Reid, Paul Taratino, Ashish Goel, Ved Chirayath and Bryan Chan. Shortly after the launch, the balloon floated beyond cell phone tower range and they lost contact with the GPS on the smartphone. They waited several months with the hope that they would be able to locate the device again. But as the months wore on, they lost hope and gave up ever seeing it again.
Then some 2 years later, they received a call from a hiker from Arizona, some 50 miles from the point where the launch took place. The caller stated he had found what he called a strange box and the students’ names were written on it. The grateful and elated students took the device apart to have a glimpse of what had been captured while it was in the stratosphere. The camera in the device had been able to take a snapshot of the Grand Canyon among several other sights from space. When they checked, they found that the balloon travelled in air for a total of 1 hour, 38 minutes and was able to reach a height of 98,664 feet from the ground.