Samsung’s campaign to promote its new Galaxy S10 5G smartphone came down to Earth with a crash this week when the high-altitude weather balloon central to the #SpaceSelfie promotion dropped out of the sky and was left dangling from a tree in Michigan.

The company had set up a microsite that allowed fans to post their selfies to a Galaxy S10 5G floating at the edge of the atmosphere. A picture of the phone displaying the selfie, overlaid on a real-time view of the Earth, would then be sent back to the sender for them to post on social media using the #SpaceSelfie hashtag. According to Samsung however, ‘weather conditions’ forced the balloon supporting the camera to drop back to Earth a little earlier than intended, where it ended up caught in a tree on a farm in Gratiot County, Michigan.

The Gratiot Country Herald reports that Nancy Welke heard a crash at around 8:45am, just as she and her husband were about to go outside to check on their horses. Upon going out to investigate they discovered the remains of the solar-powered apparatus in their field, with a parachute tangled in the branches of a tree. The balloon, which when inflated was half the size of a basketball court, was found a little further away caught in overhead power lines.

The Space Selfie campaign was launched on October 23 and was designed to demonstrate that the Galaxy S10 5G is so rugged it can be sent into space (almost). The balloon was sent to 65,000 feet above the Earth and actress and model Cara Delevingne was the first to ping a picture and have her face on the screen of the phone in ‘space’.

Of her 44 million Instagram followers 5m watched Delevingne’s teaser video of a spaceman delivering her phone, and at the time of writing 267,698 people had liked the resultant picture. The campaign was supposed to run to the end of this month, but on the loss of the critical device to make it all happen the Samsung/Spaceselfie microsite is now down too.

The #SpaceSelfie still managed to attract well over 6000 images on Instagram, though not all the pictures that appear under the hashtag are strictly related. According to Marketing Dive, the agency that ran the campaign for Samsung, the system used a combination of human and automated moderation to ensure no inappropriate images got through, though inevitably there are some random shots of a cup of coffee in the mix.

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