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Samsung selfie stunt goes wrong as space contraption crashes to Earth

Space Selfie - The Making of

Samsung might want to file this away in the one marked, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

The tech company recently had the odd idea of sending a high-altitude balloon into space carrying a Galaxy S10 smartphone showing a selfie of model and actress Cara Delevingne.

Samsung said its “SpaceSelfie” mission was designed “to give everyone the chance to get their face in space.” Because that really is on your to-do list, right?

But just a few days after the satellite-like contraption headed skyward, the whole darn thing came crashing back to Earth, landing on the property of Michigan resident Nancy Mumby-Welke.

Nancy and her husband knew something was up (or rather, down) when they heard a loud crash outside their house in Gratiot County on Saturday.

Nancy told NBC News that when she saw the crumpled mess outside she immediately realized it had fallen from the sky. On closer inspection, she could see a Samsung nameplate on it, as well as one for Raven Industries, a company in South Dakota that makes high-altitude balloons.

Samsung later confirmed to NBC that the rig had come down five days earlier than planned and had experienced a “soft landing in a selected rural area.”

The tech company was keen to point out that “no injuries occurred” in the incident, adding: “We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.” An official from one of the companies later collected the wreckage.


Samsung’s SpaceSelfie mission involved sending a selfie taken by Delevingne into space, and then beaming back to Earth an image of the selfie displayed on a Galaxy S10 (above). Samsung described it as the first-ever selfie sent to space and invited folks to upload their own pictures to Samsung’s Mission Control website so they, too, could see themselves on the screen of a Galaxy S10 drifting in space. Well, that was the idea.

While conspiracy theorists may believe Samsung deliberately brought the balloon down in dramatic circumstances in order to score more publicity for its already-bizarre marketing stunt, the more likely explanation is that the contraption simply suffered some kind of major malfunction way up high.

Samsung has an oft-touted slogan that goes: “Do what you can’t.” In this case, it appears to have done just that.

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Trevor Mogg
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