Sunday, February 26, 2012

Space Junk Ball Falls In Brazil. Possibly A Helium Tank From An Ariane 4 Upper Stage

Sao Paulo, Feb 26 (TruthDive): A piece of space junk of a spherical shape, crashed down in the village of Anapurus in the state of Maranhao in Brazil. The object weighed approximately 30kg and measured 1m in diameter.

“I heard the noise and I went out to see what caused it. I thought it was a plane that had fallen or an earthquake,” said Valdir Jose Mendes, 46, a local resident said. Valdir Jose Mendes told police the sphere landed several meters from his house leaving a one-meter-deep hole in the yard.

Some 20 villagers joined Mendes to help him extract the object from the ground and examine it. Mendes says the sphere is hollow and if shaken some sort of liquid can be felt swishing inside. Locals quickly spread the news, as they reached the town of Mata Roma. Over 2,000 people flocked to see the “UFO”.

“It’s highly probable that it’s the helium tank from the Ariane 4 rocket that was launched in 1997. Its return to the atmosphere was scheduled for the morning of February 22, according to the Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies,” Gustavo Rojas of the Sao Carlos Federal University was quoted as saying in a third report, by the New Zealand Herald.

In December 2011, a similar incident happened in Namibia, where a metal Teletubby head weighing 5.9 kilograms and measuring 35 centimeters in diameter hit the ground in the village of Omanatunga. Some Russian specialists believe the “head” was part of the third stage of the Soyuz-U rocket, launched on October 30.

Space debris stories made the headlines throughout 2011. In January, media chased the infamous Russian Mars probe Phobos-Grunt across five oceans to keep up with Russia’s space agency, constantly changing the possible impact location.

Earlier in October, the German Roentgen satellite split into 30 chunks, one of which weighed 400 kilograms, but those globs eventually made their way in to the Indian Ocean.

Scientists believe that the ball is a fragment of an old satellite or missile which had been in orbit for a long time and then fell to Earth. However, experts point out that an examination of the object is needed to obtain complete information about what it is exactly.

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