Such space junk usually burns up when passing through the atmosphere, but sometimes parts of it travel all the way to the earth’s surface. Cases of such objects hitting buildings or injuring someone are extremely rare, wrote the website Ars Technica, which covered the incident in Florida in detail.

Space junk hit a house in the city of Naples on March 8. “He blew through the roof and went through two floors,” his owner Alejandro Otero said on the X social network. He was not home at the time of the crash, but his son was. “It almost hit my son. Can you please help NASA contact me?” Otero’s post continued.

We wrote about the incident here:

Space junk.  Illustrative image

Space debris fell on the house and almost hit the child. NASA is investigating the case

The space agency then took possession of the object and analyzed it at the Kennedy Space Center. The conclusion is that the metal lump weighing almost three quarters of a kilogram comes from a load of discarded batteries that operators released from the ISS in March 2021.

NASA will reevaluate its procedures

“The agency has determined that the debris is a post from NASA flight support equipment used to attach batteries to a shipping pallet,” the news release states. According to her, NASA expected the entire payload weighing over 2,500 kilograms to burn up in the atmosphere. It will now analyze why this did not happen and adjust its procedures “as necessary”.

The statement did not say whether the agency intends to pay compensation to Otero. In its article, Ars Technica cited an expert who said the man could sue the US federal government, or seek compensation from a foreign state, if it turns out that his home was damaged by an object originating from abroad.