NASA faces $80,000 claim after space debris hits family home

WASHINGTON: A US family is suing NASA for more than $80,000 after a small piece of space debris crashed through the roof of their Florida home, a law firm said on Friday.

The problem of space debris has risen alongside increased space traffic, and NASA’s response could set a precedent for how future claims are handled, law firm Cranfield Sumner said in a statement.

On March 8, an object weighing just 700 grams struck Alejandro Otero’s home in Naples, Florida, leaving a hole in the roof.

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

Instead of disintegrating completely before falling to Earth, a portion remained intact when it re-entered the atmosphere, according to the US space agency.

The law firm said Otero’s son was home at the time of the impact, and NASA said it would take six months to respond to its claim.

„My clients are seeking adequate compensation for the stress and impact this event has had on their lives,” said attorney Micah Nguyen Worthy.

„They are thankful that no one was injured as a result of this incident, but a 'near miss’ situation like this could have been devastating.

„Serious injury or death may have occurred.”

NASA did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.

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