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NASA Faces $80,000 Claim After Space Debris Hit Roof of Florida Family Home

NASA's response could set a precedent for how future claims are handled

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on June 22, 2024, 12:34:00

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An American family is claiming more than $80,000 from NASA after a small piece of debris fell from space and smashed through the roof of their Florida home, a law firm said.

The problem of space trash has risen in tandem with increased spatial traffic, and NASA's response could set a precedent for how future claims are handled, law firm Cranfill Sumner said in a statement.

On March 8, the object weighing just 700 grammes hit Alejandro Otero's home in Naples, Florida, making a hole in the roof.

NASA later confirmed it was part of a cargo pallet of used batteries that was released from the International Space Station as waste in 2021.

Instead of fully disintegrating before falling to Earth, a section remained intact when it reentered the atmosphere, the US space agency said.

Otero's son was at the house at the moment of impact, according to the law firm, which said that NASA has six months to respond to its claim.

"My clients are seeking adequate compensation to account for the stress and impact that this event had on their lives," said lawyer Mica Nguyen Worthy.

"They are grateful that no one sustained physical injuries from this incident, but a ‘near miss’ situation such as this could have been catastrophic.

"There could have been serious injury or a fatality." NASA did not immediately respond to AFP's request for a comment.

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