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Metal Space Ball

December 24, 2011 by staff 

Metal Space BallMetal Space Ball, This metal space ball fell from the sky onto Namibia in mid-November, prompting authorities to call NASA for help. What? Why are you laughing? This space ball is a serious national security issue.

The space ball is a hollow sphere made up of two halves, with a circumference of almost four feet. So that’s a pretty huge ball. Ahem…. I will wait until you stop giggling so we can continue to investigate this important phenomenon. OK? Done?

After more than a month of closely inspecting the space ball, gently squeezing it while asking space to turn its head and cough, authorities still don’t know what it is, but a police inspector has concluded that it “did not pose any danger.” According to the AFP, this isn’t the first space ball: “Several such balls have dropped in southern Africa, Australia and Latin America in the past twenty years, authorities found in an Internet search.”

I know what you’re thinking, but for the love of God: Don’t Google “Australia balls dropping.”

Update: Looks like one of our very smart commenters, Thidrekr, has identified the space ball as a piece of an unmanned rocket:

For anyone wondering what it actually is, it’s likely a 39-litre hydrazine bladder tank (based on its apparent size; there are also much larger hydrazine tanks). They’re used on unmanned rockets for satellite launches, which would explain why they’re falling down in such a specific geographic footprint.

Yeah, he tank really looks like the space ball. According to the European space company Astrium, the tanks are used in the Ariane 5 rocket, which is frequently used by the European Space Agency to launch satellites.

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