Home Florida family sues NASA as they say their home was hit by space junk

Florida family sues NASA as they say their home was hit by space junk

A family from Florida has filed a lawsuit against NASA as they say their home was damaged by a piece of debris that fell from the International Space Station in March of this year.

The claim is to recover for damages resulting from the incident which was said to have taken place on March 8, 2024.

The law firm Cranfill Sumner has published a press release which states the junk “hit the family home of Alejandro Otero, while his son Daniel was present and left a sizable hole from the roof through the sub-flooring.”

NASA has confirmed the space debris to be from its flight support equipment used to mount the batteries on the cargo pallet.

In March 2021, NASA ground controllers used the International Space Station’s robotic arm to release a cargo pallet containing aging nickel hydride batteries following the delivery and installation of new lithium-ion batteries.

In a blog post by NASA, they say the “total mass of the hardware released from [the] space station was about 5,800 pounds.

“The hardware was expected to fully burn up during entry through Earth’s atmosphere on March 8, 2024. However, a piece of hardware survived re-entry and impacted a home in Naples, Florida.”

A detailed investigation of the jettison and re-entry analysis is being worked on as the agency looks to understand how the debris survived.

“Could have been serious injury or a fatality,” says attorney about NASA object

“Space debris is a real and serious issue because of the increase in space traffic in recent years,” said Cranfill Sumner partner Mica Nguyen Worthy who submitted the claim.

“My clients are seeking adequate compensation to account for the stress and impact that this event had on their lives. They are grateful that no one sustained physical injuries from this incident, but a ‘near miss’ situation such as this could have been catastrophic. If the debris had hit a few feet in another direction, there could have been serious injury or a fatality.”

Featured Image: Via NASA Blog Post

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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