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Samsung’s “Space Selfie” balloon crashes back to Earth

Last week, Samsung floated a Galaxy S10 5G handset 65,000 feet above the Earth. For marketing reasons, of course: the idea was that people could send their pictures to Samsung, where the selfies would be shown on the handset, photographed and sent back to the subject as a “Space Selfie” with Earth behind them.

The first selfie was sent by actor and model Cara Delevigne, and the promotion was supposed to run until the end of the month. But it’s come to an abrupt halt early after the Space Selfie balloon crash landed on a Michigan couple’s farm, just days after it was launched.

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Nancy Mumby-Welke heard the crash landing from her home and went to investigate, posting a video of her discovery to Facebook along with the caption “Oh my look what fall out of the sky.”

The equipment, carrying logos for Samsung and balloon manufacturer Raven Industries was initially caught up in a tree. “We realised it had fallen from the sky,” she told NBC News. “It looked like a satellite.”

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In a statement to the station, Samsung said that the flight had come to a premature end thanks to difficult weather conditions, and the soft landing was planned in a rural part of the country. “No injuries occurred and the balloon was subsequently retrieved,” the company said, with Raven Industries coming to collect. “We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.”

It’s unfortunate for Samsung that this promotion has got more attention for the unceremonious way it ended than for the actual activity itself. But for what it’s worth, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is an excellent handset with or without the ability to take Space Selfies. As Max wrote in our hands on review, it’s “the ultimate version of Samsung’s 2019 flagship device” with the “largest screen, most cameras and biggest battery.”