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Business News/ Science / News/  NASA confirms ‘mysterious object’ that landed in Florida home; All you need to know
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NASA confirms ‘mysterious object’ that landed in Florida home; All you need to know

NASA identified a metal stanchion as the space junk that crashed into a Florida home, originating from the ISS. The debris, weighing 0.7kg, was part of equipment used to mount old batteries on a cargo pallet for disposal.

This undated photo provided by NASA shows a recovered chunk of space junk from equipment discarded at the International Space Station. (AP)Premium
This undated photo provided by NASA shows a recovered chunk of space junk from equipment discarded at the International Space Station. (AP)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has unfolded the mystery behind an unknown object that crashed through the roof of a Florida home last month. The US space agency said that it was a chunk of space junk from equipment discarded at the International Space Station (ISS).

A cylindrical object that tore through a home in Naples was taken to the Kennedy Space Center on March 8 for analysis.

NASA confirmed that it was a metal support used to mount old batteries on a cargo pallet for disposal.

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"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," NASA said in a blogpost.

The junk weighed 0.7 kilogram. It was 4 inches tall and around 1 1/2 inches wide.

“The object is made of the metal alloy Inconel, weighs 1.6 pounds (0.7 kilograms), is 4 inches (10 centimeters) in height and 1.6 inches in diameter," it added.

The pallet was jettisoned from the space station in 2021, and the load was expected to eventually fully burn up on entry into Earth’s atmosphere, but one piece survived.

The US space agency also pledged to investigate how the debris survived being fully destroyed in the atmosphere, adding it would update its engineering models accordingly.

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"NASA remains committed to responsibly operating in low Earth orbit, and mitigating as much risk as possible to protect people on Earth when space hardware must be released," it said.

Last month, Alejandro Otero told television station WINK that his son told him that an object tore through their home.

"I was shaking. I was completely in disbelief. What are the chances of something landing on my house with such force to cause so much damage," he said.

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Past examples of manmade human space debris hitting Earth include part of a SpaceX Dragon capsule landing on an Australian sheep farm in 2022. Skylab, the United States' first space station, fell on Western Australia.

More recently, China has been criticized by NASA for allowing its giant Long March rockets to fall back to Earth after orbit.

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Published: 16 Apr 2024, 07:51 AM IST
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