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

This artist's illustration courtesy of Blue Origin obtained October 25, 2021, shows the core module of Orbital Reef. Handout BLUE ORIGIN/AFP/File
This artist's illustration courtesy of Blue Origin obtained October 25, 2021, shows the core module of Orbital Reef. Handout BLUE ORIGIN/AFP/File
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NASA Faces $80,000 Claim After Space Debris Hit Family Home

This artist's illustration courtesy of Blue Origin obtained October 25, 2021, shows the core module of Orbital Reef. Handout BLUE ORIGIN/AFP/File
This artist's illustration courtesy of Blue Origin obtained October 25, 2021, shows the core module of Orbital Reef. Handout BLUE ORIGIN/AFP/File

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 Friday, AFP reported.

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 grams 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."



Man Kills Grizzly Bear in Montana after it Attacks

FILE - US Highway 89 is shown near Gardiner, Mo., on July 15, 2020. (Brett French/Billings Gazette via AP)
FILE - US Highway 89 is shown near Gardiner, Mo., on July 15, 2020. (Brett French/Billings Gazette via AP)
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Man Kills Grizzly Bear in Montana after it Attacks

FILE - US Highway 89 is shown near Gardiner, Mo., on July 15, 2020. (Brett French/Billings Gazette via AP)
FILE - US Highway 89 is shown near Gardiner, Mo., on July 15, 2020. (Brett French/Billings Gazette via AP)

A 72-year-old man picking huckleberries in Montana shot and killed a grizzly bear after it attacked in a surprise encounter and injured him badly enough that he had to be hospitalized, authorities said Friday.
The man was alone on national forest land when the adult female charged him Thursday. He suffered significant injuries before killing the bear with a handgun, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials said.
The bear was likely reacting defensively to protect cubs, agency spokesperson Dillon Tabish said.
Wildlife workers set out game cameras in the area to try to confirm the presence of any cubs. If cubs are found, it's uncertain if they would be captured because it is difficult to find facilities qualified to take them, The Associated Press quoted him as saying.
“Depending on the age, we might leave them in the wild because they have a better chance of survival, rather than have to euthanize them,” Tabish said.
The attack happened on the Flathead National Forest about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) north of Columbia Falls, a northwestern Montana city of about 5,500 people, according to the state wildlife agency.
The victim's name and further details on his condition were not released.
Meanwhile, Fish, Wildlife & Parks staff shot and killed an adult female grizzly Thursday after it had become accustomed to seeking out food from people and breaking into houses in and around Gardiner, a town of about 800 people just north of Yellowstone National Park.
Pet food, garbage and barbeque grills left outside and accessible to bears contributed to the problem, according to a department statement. No people were hurt by the bear before it was shot in the Yellowstone River.
Wildlife managers sometimes capture and move grizzly bears that are known to cause problems for people. But they will kill ones involved in predatory attacks on people or if they are deemed likely to keep causing problems regardless of being moved.