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NASA: The piece of space junk that crashed through a Florida house came from ISS, and we released it

After completing a careful analysis of the 1.6 pound object that had crashed through two floors of a house in Florida on March 8, 2024, NASA engineers have confirmed that it came from the cargo pallet that was dumped from ISS in March 2021.

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.

Though the NASA press release notes the agency will revise its computer models for determining what will burn up in the atmosphere and what will not, it says nothing about reinbursing the homeowner, Alejandro Otero, for the damage to his home. Based on the Outer Space Treaty, the U.S. is likely liable for this damage. I suspect the negotiations are on-going, and if Otero doesn’t have a lawyer yet, he should get one immediately.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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  • F

    Shame on NASA!

    Forget about what is “legal”, and just do what is RIGHT. Reimburse the homeowner and apologize!

  • Lee S:

    Bill Mar on Sweden:–a

    The truth is a stone-cold bitch.

    No wonder you are looking for your next country to escape your own Liberalism ideology.

    Liberals, masters of disasters.

    Enjoy your baklava.

  • GaryMike

    Cosmic salvage rights, I think.

    As with meteorites, impactors become the property of the land owner.

    If Mr. Otero is a renter he’s out of luck.

    The insurer covers the repairs and the land owner has the opportunity to make a profit.

    Sell the object after successfully suing the ISS partner governments.

    Win, win, win, win, win.

    Not suing for costs (the insurer makes that good), but for negligence.

    Outer Space Treaty obligations.

  • wayne

    Hilarious, I almost spewed my beverage all over my keyboard!

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