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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Florida Family Sues NASA After Space Debris Damages Home


Mon 24 Jun 2024 | 08:46 PM
Israa Farhan

A family in Naples, Florida, has initiated legal action against the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) after a piece of space debris struck their home.

The incident, which occurred earlier this year, involved a cylindrical fragment that failed to burn up during re-entry and caused significant damage by piercing the roof.

“Space debris is a real and serious issue because of the increase in space traffic in recent years,” Mica Nguyen Worthy, the family’s attorney, said in a statement. “My clients are seeking adequate compensation to account for the stress and impact that this event had on their lives.”

Fortunately, the family’s 19-year-old son, who was home at the time of the incident, was unharmed. However, Worthy noted, “The family is grateful that no one sustained physical injuries from this incident, but a ‘near miss’ situation such as this could have been catastrophic.”

The lawsuit, filed last month, seeks damages for non-insured property loss, emotional and mental anguish, and other related impacts, according to NPR. NASA has not yet responded to the lawsuit.

The space object involved in the incident was part of a March 2021 operation aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA had released a nearly 6,000-pound pallet of old nickel hydride batteries, anticipating they would burn up in the atmosphere within two to four years.

After the debris impact, the fragment was transported to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral for analysis. NASA confirmed that the debris was a metal support used to mount the old batteries on a cargo pallet for disposal.