[/caption]The Russian supply ship for the International Space Station successfully launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2:37 pm EDT (10:37 pm Moscow time) on Thursday to carry 2.5 tonnes of supplies to the orbiting crew. Progress 33 will take over from Progress 32 that was filled with rubbish and unwanted instrumentation and de-orbited on May 6th, sent on its way to burn up over the Pacific Ocean on May 18th.
It seems the spaceship exchange went according to plan. Progress 33 launched, Progress 32 de-orbited and the space station is stocked until the next delivery.
However, a small village in South Siberia didn’t have such a harmonious evening; a chunk of the Progress rocket booster fell onto a house.
Or did it…?
Space debris sometimes falls to Earth, as does debris from Russian air activities, and it looks like the village of Baranovka in the Siberian Altai Region has just become the target for some more space junk.
This time, local residents reported hearing two sharp cracks and then a crash when something fell on the roof of a two-storey apartment block. Immediately the emergency services were called and fire fighters found a 1×4 foot piece of metal. It has been confirmed that this piece of debris originated from the Progress rocket launched earlier that night.
Fortunately there were no injuries and no significant property damage.
Regardless, the Russian space agency appears to be concerned that somebody is out to get compensation. “There is only one fragment and the house is not within the calculated area of possible debris fallout,” said a space agency spokesman. “In any case, there are no casualties or material damage, according to our information.”
The agency added that locals may have found the rocket debris elsewhere, transported it to Baranovka, put it on the roof and then claimed it fell from the sky.
To be honest, so long as there are no faked concussions or claims of “pain and suffering”, I suspect the residents won’t be suing for damages. (As there doesn’t appear to be any damage.)
I hope they get to keep the rogue bit of rocket though. That would make a great trophy in the village bar!
Source: Mos News, Space Fellowship