Skip to Content
Technology

Samsung satellite returns to Earth with crash landing on a Michigan farm

Sorry, no Roswell-like conspiracies here. No little gray (green?) men stashed away in Area 51. No threatening men in black.

Though it would be pretty cool if Will Smith showed up in the suit and glasses!

Nope, this 21st-century “space” crash was all about selfies, famous models and commerce — and a pair of farmers wondering what the heck hit their land.

So many air quotes

A high-altitude balloon “satellite” from Samsung was actually just a publicity stunt gone awry; however, the fiasco was met with amusement, rather than fear. People nowadays are a jaded bunch. Click here to read about another Samsung debacle.

Samsung’s not-really “SpaceSelfie” and not-at-all “satellite” ended its PR run a few days early when the contraption crashed onto a Michigan horse farm earlier this week. Why all the air quotes?

Well, first of all, there was no satellite. It was really a high-altitude balloon holding aloft a contraption that looks like a satellite some middle schooler threw together the night before the science fair. Second, it didn’t even go to space. It only went as far as the stratosphere — jet planes go there.

 

Related: Check out Samsung’s triple screen smartphone wonder

 

Third, its name is misleading. No one was taking selfies of themselves in space. People could just upload earth-bound selfies for a chance to have them shown in the stratosphere (again, not space).

And finally, electronics maker Samsung, with help from those scourges of social media — influencers, in this case, actress-model Cara Delevingne — teamed up for the PR stunt that was supposed to end Oct. 31.

All of this to promote the new Galaxy S10 5G.

It did not come from outer space

Unlike those poor, frightened folks in Roswell in 1947, Nancy Mumby-Welke and her husband were simply curious about the crash. Speaking to a regional newspaper, Nancy said she and her husband were on their way to take care of their horses when they heard a loud sound. This video was taken by the Mumby-Welke family and reposted on various Facebook pages:

Outside, the couple found the four-legged “satellite” attached to a parachute that was caught in a tree. Our intrepid farmers noticed the labels “Samsung” and “Raven Industries,” a South Dakota company that manufactures altitude balloons, on and near the wreckage.

Using the Google Machine, Nancy entered the words she found on the “space” trash on her farm and learned all about Delevingne and the SpaceSelfie campaign. Luckily, no people or animals were hurt in the crash. A few hours later, representatives of Raven Industries went to the farm and gathered the fallen PR materials.

 

Related: Apple’s dumb Mail app update has users furious over deleted emails

 

Samsung merely said the balloon had flown off course and landed earlier than expected. They had no comment when asked if they planned to compensate the Mumby-Welkes for the crash.

Ask me your digital question!

Navigating the digital world can be intimidating and sometimes downright daunting. Let me help! Reach out today to ask your digital question. You might even be on my show!

Ask Me