NASA Confirms Origin Of Space Object That Crashed Into Florida Home

NASA confirmed Tuesday an object that plummeted into a Florida home last month was a piece of junk released from the International Space Station.

A small, 1.6-pound metal cylinder crashed through the roof of a home in Naples, Florida, on March 8. Alejandro Otero told a local news channel his son was shocked by a loud bang as the object ripped through two levels of his home. He posted photos of the item on X and asked NASA to contact him after failing to get through to someone who could identify it.

“Something ripped through the house and then made a big hole on the floor and on the ceiling,” Otero told WINK-TV. “When we heard that, we were like, impossible, and then immediately I thought a meteorite.”

NASA said in a blog post it had collected the item and determined it was a piece of hardware from flight support equipment used to release a cargo pallet of aging batteries. The agency ejected the pallet in 2021, and it was expected to fully burn up in the atmosphere on March 8 of this year.

The hardware that failed to do so was made from Inconel, a metal alloy that can withstand high temperatures and other extreme environments.

“I was shaking. I was completely in disbelief,” Otero told WINK last month. “What are the chances of something landing on my house with such force to cause so much damage.”

This undated photo provided by NASA shows a recovered chunk of space junk from equipment discarded at the International Space Station. The cylindrical object that tore through a home in Naples, Florida, on March 8 was subsequently taken to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for analysis.

“I’m super grateful that nobody got hurt,” he added at the time.

NASA said it would investigate how the object was able to reenter the atmosphere without burning up, and would update its modeling and analysis as needed.

“These models require detailed input parameters and are regularly updated when debris is found to have survived atmospheric re-entry to the ground,” the space agency said.

“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.”