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NASA confirms mystery object that crashed through roof of Florida home came from space station

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — NASA confirmed Monday that a mystery object that crashed through the roof of a Florida home last month was a chunk of space junk from equipment discarded at the International Space Station.

The cylindrical object that tore through the home in Naples on March 8 was subsequently taken to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral for analysis.

The space agency said it was a metal support used to mount old batteries on a cargo pallet for disposal. The pallet was jettisoned from the space station in 2021, and the load was expected to eventually fully burn up on entry into Earth’s atmosphere, but one piece survived.

The chunk of metal weighed 1.6 pounds (0.7 kilograms) and was 4 inches (10 centimeters) tall and roughly 1 1/2 inches (4 centimeters) wide.

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Homeowner Alejandro Otero told television station WINK at the time that he was on vacation when his son told him what had happened. Otero came home early to check on the house, finding the object had ripped through his ceiling and torn up the flooring.

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

The Associated Press