Apple replaces iPad Air that was destroyed by NASA Antares rocket shockwave

This week, “NASA’s unmanned Antares rocket exploded at launch above Wallops Island, Virginia, on route to dropping off supplies at the International Space Station,” John Brownlee reports for Cult of Mac. “”

“A lesser casualty of that explosion? One rocket watcher’s iPad,” Brownlee reports. “It seemed like he was out of luck. However, after being prompted by his fellow Redditors to try bringing the iPad into the Genius bar to tell them ‘it landed in a swap because a spaceship exploded,’ [the iPad owner] found himself rewarded for his good faith.”

I just went to the Genius Bar and explained what happened. He called out the manager and the manager said ‘I think we’ve officially seen it all’ she then offered a free replacement but on 16GB instead of 64 which I had (not complaining). This is why I can’t leave Apple… It’s not a refurb either.

Read more in the full article here.


    1. Shockwave is probably not an accurate description but makes a great headline. I imagine it was the sound of the explosion that startled the person and they lost grip of the iPad.

  1. It sounds like the shockwave knocked the ipad out of his hands (that plus the surprise made him lose his grip on it) and the actual destruction happened when the device landed in swamp water.

  2. It probably fell off of or was drop from what ever was keeping it out of the swamp, by the shere shock and awe of a rocket exploding right in front of them.

    As gracious as the exchange went, i think they should have given her a 64GB model. I know what it’s like to walk in to the Apple Store, head slung low, because your device is broken. I do seriously appreciate the good will Apple has for it’s customers.

    Before anyone says I have an entitlement attitude, I am not the person needing a replacement. I just think if since they did do something, it would be more impressive to go all the way.

    I think before going to a rocket launch, I would consult with my insurance agent, and my cardiologist, just to be sure all situations are accounted for. 🙂

    1. Agree with going all the way. Half-steps seem sort of chintzy and lessen the nobility of the action.

      In addition to the insurance agent and cardiologist, I’d see my tailor about some brown pants.

      1. I disagree. Neither Apple nor its retail store were obligated to provide a replacement iPad to this person. Because it was a novel event, the store manager voluntarily chose to take action. Apple has done the same thing on a number of occasions (child robbed, etc.), and I respect the company for doing so. But it is not obligated to do so and I find the criticism regarding the amount of memory to be repugnant. To be honest, I am disappointed that the beneficiary of this Apple largesse mentioned the fact that the free iPad replacement did not have the same amount of memory “(not complaining)” as the unit that the user dropped. I choose to give that person the benefit of the doubt, because it is all too easy to say something during an interview that either comes across wrong or should not be said at all.

        I suspect that the manager of the Apple Store is limited in terms of the unilateral actions that he/she is authorized to take in terms of giving away Apple merchandise.

        Given human nature, I am waiting for the follow-on wave of non-functional iPads that were “destroyed by a rocket explosion” or “hit by a small meteorite” (certainly *not* a BB!).

        1. I see your point, and don’t disagree that Apple was under no obligation to do anything. The customer picked the original configuration because it worked for them so Apple was offering a not quite functional replacement. Why bother doing things half way? Or convince the customer they really don’t need upgraded memory, thus impacting all future sales.

          No need to get too up in the air about it. The manager did something nice and missed the opportunity to do something great. Apple is about great, not sort of good.

    2. To be clear, anyone viewing a rocket launch (even those in the control center) are quite a ways away from the event – miles away. But even from a distance, such an event is awesome to behold. The massive roar generated by the rocket engines is felt physically as much as with your ears. I imagine that the explosion of the rocket so close to the ground generated significant pressure pulses at the viewing site.

  3. I broke my iPad screen by dropping my wireless keypad on it. I went to the apple store with my head slung low and they replaced it. They erased the old and loaded it back up. That is service! Love Apple!

  4. Just to clear up the mis-information in the headline and across the web, this was not a NASA rocket. NASA had contracted with Orbital Sciences Corp to supply the station using a rocket designed and built by Orbital Sciences. NASA was just paying for a payload.

  5. I had the opposite experience. I bought an iPhone 6+ at an Apple store on Tuesday and asked one of the techs to help me set up ApplePay. While doing so we both noticed the screen flashing white. He put the phone to sleep and when he woke it up the flashing had stopped. However, within two hours of getting home I had discovered that the screen was defective. I called the Apple store and they said to bring it in for a new replacement. However, when I got to the store they ran diagnostics, confirmed the screen was bad, and told me they would replace the screen, but wouldn’t replace the iPhone. I argued that I should get a replacement since the tech who saw the flashing screen when I bought the phone confirmed that indeed he saw the problem but thought it was a software glitch at the time. So now I have paid for a new iPhone but have a refurbished phone. I AM NOT a happy customer!

    1. I’m confused by this – if this was in relation to a Tuesday purchase, you’re inside of the return window. If you’re as disgruntled/disappointed as you say, why’d you accept the replacement instead of returning the phone?

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