Home Science & Environment Florida man says space object crashed into his house. Why NASA is taking him seriously

Florida man says space object crashed into his house. Why NASA is taking him seriously

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Florida man says space object crashed into his house. Why NASA is taking him seriously

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NASA is investigating an object that a Florida resident says came from space and plummeted into his home last month.

Alejandro Otero said a piece of equipment from the International Space Station hit his Naples home and posted photos on X in response to an astronomer who was tracking where and when the equipment entered Earth’s atmosphere. Otero was on vacation but said the object caused significant damage and nearly stuck his son, local outlet WINK News first reported.

“My son was home when the piece tore through the roof with a loud crash that could be heard on our security cameras as well,” Otero told Fox News. “We cut our trip short to make it back home as quickly as possible, because we really didn’t know what happened at the time and it was quite a shock!”

“It was quite traumatic and there was quite a lot of damage to the house of course,” he added.

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Otero’s social media posts included Nest security video footage of the mid-afternoon crash in addition to photos of the cylindrical object. 

“It didn’t look like anything I had ever seen before,” Otero told Fox News. “It looked like it had been burned up and scraped, and it was a heavy piece for its size.”

An obscure, alleged space object fell through a Florida man’s home and nearly hit his son on March 8.  (Courtesy: Alejandro Otero)

The astronomer, Jonathan McDowell, replied to Otero’s post saying the time and location were consistent with predictions on where and when the equipment would enter the atmosphere. He also agreed that it appeared to be part of the EP-9 battery pallet.

“I thought it could have come from space, and sure enough, the research lined up to the batteries that were discharged from the ISS two years earlier,” Otero said. 

In March 2021, NASA announced that an external pallet of batteries had been released from the International Space Station 260 miles above Earth. NASA said the pallet would orbit Earth for around two to four years before burning up in the atmosphere without causing harm. 

Space pallet

An external pallet packed with old nickel-hydrogen batteries was released from the Canadarm2 robotic arm as the International Space Station orbited above the Pacific Ocean west of Central America in 2021. (Courtesy: NASA / JSC)

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A NASA spokesperson told Fox News on Wednesday that the space agency was investigating the object and the causes of the crash.

“NASA collected an item in cooperation with the homeowner on March 28, and will analyze the object at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida as soon as possible to determine its origin,” NASA Deputy News Chief Jennifer Dooren said in a statement. “More information will be available once the analysis is complete.”

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Otero previously pleaded on X last month for NASA’s help and for any responsible agencies to cover the damage caused, but told Fox News his insurance is covering the repairs. The Florida resident said the experience terrified his family, but was thankful there weren’t any serious injuries. 

“This is just such an astonishing event that makes us all stop and think about the future,” Otero told Fox News. “We have good starting point for a discussion on how to do space in a responsible way, because this near-miss incident is a warning signal to the space community.”

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