NASA Identifies ISS Debris As Culprit In Florida Home Damage Incident

NASA has announced that a piece of “space debris” from equipment left over from the International Space Station (ISS) was responsible for damaging the roof of a home in Naples, Florida, in March 2024. The incident occurred on March 8 and involved a cylindrical object that tore through the residence, causing significant damage to the property.

The space agency revealed that the object was a metal support used to install outdated batteries for disposal on a cargo pallet. Measuring 4 inches in height, 1.6 inches in width, and weighing nearly 2 pounds, the debris was made of the metal alloy Inconel.

According to reports the pallet was abandoned from the ISS in March 2021 and was expected to completely burn up upon re-entering Earth’s atmosphere on March 8, 2024. But a piece survived and impacted the Naples home causing extensive damage to the property.

NASA says it will investigate how the debris managed to survive re-entry. In a statement from the agency they reaffirmed a commitment to responsible operations in low Earth orbit.

The homeowner, Alejandro Otero, who was on vacation at the time of the incident, returned to find his home’s flooring and ceiling severely damaged. “It was a tremendous sound. It almost hit my son,” Otero told local news outlet WINK. “Something ripped through the house and then made a big hole on the floor and on the ceiling.”

Otero expressed shock and disbelief at the incident, stating, “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? I’m super grateful that nobody got hurt.”