NASA confirms object that struck Florida home came from pallet of batteries intended to burn up in atmosphere

NASA confirmed on Monday that an object that crashed into a Naples, Florida, home last month was a piece of hardware from the International Space Station that was supposed to burn up on re-entry before reaching the surface of Earth.

Alejandro Otero said a piece of equipment from the International Space Station hit his Naples home, posting photos of the object on X in response to an astronomer who was tracking where and when the equipment would enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

Otero told the astronomer it looked like one of the pieces had missed Fort Myers, and landed inside his home.

“Tore through the roof and went thru 2 floors,” he posted on X, adding that it almost hit his son.

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Other posts by Otero included Nest security video footage of the mid-afternoon crash in addition to photos of the cylindrical object.

“It didn’t look like anything I had ever seen before,” Otero told Fox News. “It looked like it had been burned up and scraped, and it was a heavy piece for its size.”

NASA was contacted about the object and launched an investigation into identifying it and determining the cause of the crash.

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The space agency previously noted that in March 2021, ground controllers used the International Space Station’s robotic arm to release a cargo pallet that contained aging nickel hydride batteries from the space station after new lithium-ion batteries had been delivered and installed as part of power upgrades to the orbital outpost.

NASA said the total mass of the released hardware was about 5,800 pounds, and it was expected to fully burn up as it entered Earth’s atmosphere March 8.

But the object Otero discovered in his home was part of the cargo and survived re-entry to Earth, NASA found.

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NASA said the investigation found the debris was a stanchion from the NASA flight support equipment used to mount batteries on the cargo pallet.

The object, NASA added, is made of metal alloy Inconel, is about 4 inches long and 1.6 inches in diameter, and weighs 1.6 pounds.

The space agency plans to conduct a further investigation into how the object survived re-entry. The study will include looking at engineering models to estimate how objects heat up and break apart on re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

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NASA did not immediately respond to inquiries from Fox News Digital on the matter.

Still, NASA turned to its website to release a statement on the investigation.

“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,” the statement read.

Megan Myers of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.

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