Unthinkable Impact: ISS Debris Strikes Florida Residence, NASA Launches Investigation

By Maria Angelino | Thursday, 18 April 2024 12:00 PM
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Image Credit : NASA/JSC

NASA confirmed on Monday that a fragment of the International Space Station (ISS) plummeted into a residence in Naples, Florida in March 2024.

The unexpected incident has left the space agency in a state of surprise.

The event unfolded in March when NASA's ground control utilized the ISS's robotic arm to discharge a cargo pallet into space. According to the agency, the total mass jettisoned by the machine was approximately 5,800 lbs. This mass was anticipated to incinerate during re-entry into our atmosphere around March 8, 2024.

However, an unexpected issue arose at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Contrary to expectations, at least one piece of the hardware survived the re-entry and crashed into a Florida home. NASA promptly retrieved the debris and transported it back to the Kennedy Space Center for analysis.

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In a statement released by the agency, it was revealed that the debris was identified as 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 agency disclosed.

In response to this incident, the ISS has pledged to conduct a "detailed investigation" to aid NASA in reducing future risks associated with the release of space hardware.

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