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NASA has confirmed that a cargo pallet prop that was dropped from the ISS back in 2021 has fallen on a house in Florida

NASA has confirmed that a cargo pallet prop that was dropped from the ISS back in 2021 has fallen on a house in Florida
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Space debris was simply thrown out of the station - it was supposed to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere, but one of the fragments "survived" and pierced the roof and floor of a two-story house of a Florida resident.

NASA specialists immediately arrived at the scene and took the kilogram item for further investigation. Currently, the agency has confirmed that it indeed "arrived" from the ISS and is part of a cargo pod with old batteries weighing a total of 2630 kg (specifically, it is a "support strut") that was dropped from the station back in 2021.

The photo shows what the strut should look like in working condition and its fragment that survived the entry into Earth's atmosphere and fell on a house in March 2024. Image: NASA

The strut itself is made of nickel (a metallic alloy that can withstand extreme conditions such as high temperature, pressure, or mechanical loads), weighs about a kilogram, and measures 10 cm in height and 4 cm in diameter (slightly smaller than a standard Red Bull can).

"It was expected that the equipment would completely burn up during entry into Earth's atmosphere on March 8, 2024," NASA stated. "The ISS will conduct a detailed investigation to determine the reason for the fragments' "survival" and update modeling and analysis, if necessary. These models require detailed input parameters and are regularly updated when it turns out that debris survived reentry into Earth's atmosphere."

The history of ISS debris is related to the unsuccessful launch of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft over 5 years ago, which was forced to make a quick ballistic descent due to problems with the rocket. Onboard were Russian cosmonaut Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague - the latter was supposed to go out into open space to install a new set of lithium-ion batteries, delivered by the Japanese HTV cargo ship to the ISS, but the mission was postponed to 2018.

This delay in the carefully planned schedule overshadowed the entire multi-year plan for upgrading the ISS's battery system. Each time the HTV ship delivered new batteries to the station and took the old ones - the last time this happened was in 2020, and since then the last structure with faulty batteries remained on the ISS (other cargo transport vehicles - SpaceX's Dragon, Northrop Grumman's Cygnus, and the Russian Progress - cannot accommodate the HTV cargo pod). In March 2021, NASA "dumped" cargo with batteries using a robotic arm - it drifted in orbit for three years until aerodynamic resistance pushed the structure back into the atmosphere.

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