NASA Identifies Mysterious Object That Crashed Into Florida Home

By Zuri Anderson

April 16, 2024

Photo: NASA

NASA has identified the mysterious object that smashed through the roof of a Florida home last month. On Monday (April 15), officials confirmed a piece of space hardware from the International Space Station plummeted to Earth and fell on a house in Naples on March 8, per CBS News.

The space agency determined the debris was a 4-inch-long stanchion from their flight support equipment. According to NASA, astronauts released some aging nick hydride batteries from the ISS using its robotic arm in March 2021. Officials expected the objects to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere, but a cylindrical piece survived and struck Alejandro Otero's home.

The homeowner told WINK News the space debris crashed through his roof and ripped through the second-story floor, leaving a gaping hole in his ceiling. He said he was on vacation but came home early when his son alerted him about the sudden impact.

"I was shaking. I was completely in disbelief," Otero said. "What are the chances of something landing on my house with such force to cause so much damage. I'm super grateful that nobody got hurt."

According to FOX Weather, the father contacted Harvard astronomer Jonathan McDowell on social media for help. NASA worked with Otero to collect and analyze the piece of hardware at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

Space parts re-enter Earth's atmosphere frequently, burning up and breaking apart. Reporters said it's rare these objects survive and damage a home or person.

"The International Space Station will perform a detailed investigation of the jettison and re-entry analysis to determine the cause of the debris survival and to update modeling and analysis, as needed," NASA said in a statement. "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."

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