Saturday, March 29, 2008

Space Junk Update

Hot on the vapor trails of my previous post - describing a large piece of rocket casing narrowly avoiding collision with a sheep farmer's outside toilet in central Russia - it has emerged that more space junk has been falling to earth, this time in northern Australia.

Cattle farmer James Stirton (pictured) announced on Friday the discovery of what he believes to be an item from a rocket used to launch a communications satellite.

Discovered in the Australian outback, about 500 miles west of Brisbane, the twisted metal object is described as "hollow" and "covered in carbon-fiber material".

"I know a lot about sheep and cattle but I don't know much about satellites," admitted the self-deprecating farmer, who came across the item on his 40,000 hectre farm, "But I would say it is a fuel cell off some stage of a rocket."

In 1979, large parts of the Skylab space station fell to earth near a tiny outback town in western Australia. A local council sent NASA a ticket for littering and the then US President Jimmy Carter responded with an apology.

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