The Santa Lucia Meteorite Fall (Meteorite Expedition Series Book 1)

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The figure above marks the spot where the Manitowoc fragment hit the street.


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The above map shows the track of the reentry and locations of recovered fragments around the church all of which appear to line up with the ground track and main fragment that fell into the street. Mercury 4 was launched July 21, Gus Grissom, the 3rd astronaut to return from space, rode the spacecraft for 15 minutes before landing in the ocean. Liberty Bell 7 sank after a hatch blew open and it dropped to a depth of 5 km into the water.

After a 14 year search an expedition in uncovered the spacecraft and raised it to the surface where this piece of space debris is now stored in a museum. Some of these workhorse capsules have been recovered and stored in a so-called graveyard of used space objects. An example of such a collection is shown here. Credit Open Minds Production. Unfortunately, I do not know their heritage.

The bolt and threads above survived intact even though the sphere itself is very scorched and the other side has a large hole in it. Earlier examples of reentry include Apollo capsules. Manned capsule were recovered during Apollo missions. An examle is shown below. In addition, we observed several Apollo missions on the way to the moon.

In this view Apollo 12 Command Module is seen as a small dot illuminated by sunlight on November 14, at 02hUT from a slant range of 50, miles. It is at the apex of the arrow labeled A They were 28 feet high with a diameter ranging from 12 ft. Sunlight reflected quite well off these panesl which stayed in close proximity to the Command Module for some time. Two SLA panels are seen as dots directly below the second arrow and the third below and to the right of the right-most of those two objects.

These are Polaroid images taken off a video monitor. The telescope used was a inch telescope and an intensified video camera was employed. The 3 objects qualify as space debris since they were jettisoned as part of the mission scenario yet followed along in roughly parallel trajectories to the Apollo.

It is the slightly out of focus object at the apex of the arrow. The water dump itself is an example of space debris. Light is reflecting off the frozen ice crystals.

Meteorite fall

Many Russian spacecraft were designed to return humans back to earth. This Vostok capsule is an example of one which survived reentry and is now housed in a space museum in Moscow. The internet has created a market for advertising all sorts of products including recovered pieces of space debris. This appears to be a pressure sphere.

Lottie Williams 44 years old at the time was grazed by a lightweight fragment of charred woven material 10 x 13 cm material that was later identified from the reentry of the MSX Delta rocket launched April that reentered the atmosphere in At that time they saw what appeared to be a fireball streaking across the sky and breaking up into pieces. Then about 30 minutes later something hit her on the shoulder. It appeared as pieces of metal fabric that melted together. The reentry itself was seen by many including Tulsa police officers who were involved in a 9-hour standoff at a home in north Tulsa.


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  6. While it is not clear that anyone has been killed by space debris, it was reported that a cow died in Cuba after having been hit by a falling object in An unknown number of rocket motor and propellant tank pieces were reported to have fallen in Cuba in November and these are thought to be sub-orbital debris from failure of a Thor booster used to launch the Transit-IIIA satellite on November 30, satellite F Neither the cow nor its owners were available for interviews.

    The principal source of the cow story is from a speech delivered by CIA director G.

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    Havana charged that a cow was killed in a deliberate US action. It was the first and last time that a satellite has been used in the production of ground beef. The episode has gone down in history as the herd shot round the world. Another report indicated Nov. The boy was taken to hospital where doctors found he had suffered a fractured toe and a swelling on his forehead. The satellite debris was a block of aluminum, 80 centimetres by 50 centimetres and weighing 10 kilograms.

    After the remains of the satellite had crashed to earth, the village head noticed that the air had a smoky, gunpowdery smell and thought a plane had crashed nearby. He requested that the village be evacuated. Later, after a total of 19 metal fragments had been recovered, it was found that the debris was the outermost shell of the Resource Second Satellite which had broken up after falling from orbit.

    Local police and authorities have made a list of all the debris and are waiting for more expert investigation. The satellite was supposed to have crashed into an uninhabited mountain area in Shanyang County but had landed instead in nearby Yanghe village. The mishap was blamed on unexpected weather conditions. Space debris comes in many forms.

    One of the most exciting is when a satellite or rocket explodes unexpectedly. We have watched the aftermath of some of these events. An early sighting of mine was of Cosmos On December 29, at UT, we watched six fragments pass through the field of our binoculars one after the other separated by 53, 7, 5, 83, and 18 seconds, respectively.

    A group of fragments from an apparent low velocity breakup in February Usually, the sizes of the resultant post-explosion fragments are quite small—less than 0. If the satellite is in low earth orbit perhaps at altitudes less than km , it is possible that some fragments can be viewed in amateur telescopes. If the exploding object is located in an eccentric orbit one with a low perigee and high apogee , unless you are really lucky, it is not likely you will be able to spot these fragments.

    Why should we try to view the end products of explosions? A simple answer might be the following: if the cause of an explosion is not known usually the case , one may be able to gather information on the rotation and brightness of resultant fragments and correlate the brightness with radar cross section.

    In certain instances, the exploding object may not be destroyed. This is not an altogether unusual situation. Some objects suffer minor explosions and their radar cross section is largely unaffected. Optical observation bears this out.

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    An explosion in space is not a desirable outcome since the new fragments become possible sources of impact to working satellites. Even a small fragment moving at orbital velocity is enough to seriously damage or destroy a large spacecraft. Many fragments created as a result of explosions tend to have small cross sectional area and may decay from orbit quickly. In the s and early 70s there were several finds of space debris in Australia. A report on the Bellata spheres from the Weapons Research Establishment which is part of the documentation provided to the museum by the donor, Dobikin stud manager Mr.

    After examination, the WRE forwarded the two balls to the museum in , in accord with Dobikin manager Mr. The third ball discovered remained in Mr. The body and interior of the ball are spattered with other blobs of metal slag, but it is otherwise reasonably intact. The other sphere was burned through in two places, so the WRE decided to cut it into pieces for examination and analysis: only a segment of the original now remains, stenciled with lab markings.

    In compliance with article 5 of the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space, Member States provide reports of space debris discovered within their territories.

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    For earth dwellers, being hit by a piece of reentering space debris is a highly unlikely event. But there are more to interest space buffs than just the extraordinary events involved in surviving a reentry. While it is true that thousands of satellites and rockets have reentered the atmosphere and only a relative few have been found intact or in pieces, the effects of space debris can have an impact on ground based astronomical observations. In this paper, the investigators reported eliminating what could not have caused the flashes.

    One source they discounted was artificial earth satellites. This conclusion was the catalyst that began my investigation into the Aries flasher phenomenon. After the announcement of the Aries Flasher, numerous search teams tried in vain to locate the source of these mysterious flashes. Some results included:. Garnavich and S. Temple University of Washington, Jan.

    Lewin et al.