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NASA confirms space junk from ISS crashed through a house in Florida

The debris that hit the house in Florida compared to its original dimensions and shape NASA

The likelihood of a piece of space debris hitting your house is statistically extremely low. Not zero, however, as Alejandro Otero from Naples, Florida, found out in March, when a piece of unknown debris tore through his house’s roof and made its way through two floors.

Otero’s son was at home during the freak incident, but luckily he was not injured and called his father afterward to alert him, WINK News reported at the time.

But what was this mysterious object that fell from the sky? As it turned out, it was a piece of hardware thrown away from the International Space Station back in 2021, NASA now confirmed.

Alejandro Otero handed the object to NASA, which looked at it closely at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida:

“As part of the analysis, NASA completed an assessment of the object’s dimensions and features compared to the released hardware and performed a materials analysis. Based on the examination, the agency determined the debris to be a stanchion from the NASA flight support equipment used to mount the batteries on the cargo pallet. The object is made of the metal alloy Inconel, weighs 1.6 pounds, is 4 inches in height and 1.6 inches in diameter.”

The aforementioned cargo pallet contained aging nickel hydride batteries from the space station. They were released from the orbital outpost using the station’s robotic arm and were expected to fully burn up during the re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. Clearly, this was ultimately not the case.

“NASA specialists use engineering models to estimate how objects heat up and break apart during atmospheric re-entry. These models require detailed input parameters and are regularly updated when debris is found to have survived atmospheric re-entry to the ground,” NASA explained and announced that the ISS will perform a detailed investigation of the jettison and re-entry analysis.

Based on the results, if necessary, NASA will update its modeling and analysis to make sure the so-called space junk is disposed of safely in the future.

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