iPhone survives a trip into space and back thanks to a military-grade case

Don't try this at home—not that you really could.


Alex La Ferla


Published Jan 21, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 5:29 pm CDT

What better way to test the durability of your product than to launch it 100,000 feet into the stratosphere and send it hurtling back toward earth?

Urban Armor Gear did exactly that—and filmed it, of course—to advertise their “military-grade” iPhone 6 case. The iPhone in question left the surface of our planet from a field in North Wales on a rainy day in late November 2014, securely fastened to a specially made rig and hoisted up by a large weather balloon. The entire flight lasted over three hours, during which time the phone, which had no screen protector, was exposed to temperatures of -79 degrees Fahrenheit and winds of 70 miles per hour.

When the phone returned to earth, assisted by a parachute, it landed “without a scratch,” according to the video’s producers. (The force of the resulting impact was enough to destroy the rig, however.)

“Our cases already meet military drop-test standards,” Steve Armstrong, co-founder of the California-based company, said after the successful landing, “but now we can officially say that they are space tested as well.”

This little experiment may not have been entirely necessary, but it is damn cool to watch. Next time, might we suggest outfitting the iPhone with a tiny parka or at least a fleece? It gets quite chilly up there.

Urban Armor Gear Inc.

H/T CNET | Screengrab via Urban Armor Gear Inc./YouTube

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*First Published: Jan 21, 2015, 2:20 pm CST