'Space ball' drops on Namibia

2011-12-23 11:33

Windhoek - A large metallic ball fell out of the sky on a remote grassland in Namibia, prompting baffled authorities to contact Nasa and the European space agency.

The hollow ball with a circumference of 1.1m was found near a village in the north of the country some 750km from the capital Windhoek, according to police forensics director Paul Ludik.

Locals had heard several small explosions a few days beforehand, he said.

With a diameter of 35cm, the ball has a rough surface and appears to consist of "two halves welded together".

It was made of a "metal alloy known to man" and weighed six kilograms, said Ludik.

It was found 18m from its landing spot, a hole 33cm deep and 3.8m wide.

Several such balls have dropped in southern Africa, Australia and Latin America in the past twenty years, authorities found in an Internet search.

The sphere was discovered mid-November, but authorities first did tests before announcing the find.

Police deputy inspector general Vilho Hifindaka concluded the sphere did not pose any danger.

"It is not an explosive device, but rather hollow, but we had to investigate all this first," he said.

  • renesongs - 2011-12-23 12:28

    I usually refer to News24 for the the common man's opinion on news I have read elsewhere. I have to say that the lack of ability of this journalist has exceeded even my lowest expectations of News24

  • Frant1c123 - 2011-12-23 12:28

    Really? Check Highlights at Sci section, the other article is still there....

  • Zion - 2011-12-23 12:30

    If this was an object out of space then it would probably have been destroyed by re-entry into the earth's atmosphere due to over heating. The object weighs in at 6kg and a diameter of 35 cm and its terminal velocity could be calculated assuming the metal "Which is known to man" is some alloy of steel and hence the density can be estimated from the volume. The roughness of the surface indicates that the terminal velocity must have been quite high due to the minimal surface effect. Maybe this is some father Xmas hoax or the aliens have lost their marbles but only in Namibia.

      Phoenix - 2011-12-23 14:24

      It is a fuel tank for a satelite.

      Zion - 2011-12-24 13:36

      OK, Lets put it this way: The diameter is 350 mm and it is a ball if you like. The volume is 4/3pyeRcubed. (4 divided by 3 times pye times radius cubed Radius is 175 mm or 350 divided by 2. Alter measurements to centimetres which should give 22449.297cc and 1000cc = 1 litre it works out that the capacity is about 22.449 litre. Now my Jonway scooter would be hard put to have a fuel tank size of 22.5 litre. And my Bantam would only go 264 km on a tank of 22 litres. EAAOFST.

      Martin J Muller - 2012-02-02 12:11

      Can u break that down 4 me a little ?

  • hondbyt - 2011-12-23 12:45

    If the metal ball is found to be titanium alloy then it fits the description of a pressurant tank used in satellite launch vehicles perfectly there should also be two valves on either side of the tank.

      Martin J Muller - 2012-02-02 12:05

      Cool hond....byt!

  • Shirley - 2011-12-23 13:37

    If it was a pair then I would of said they belong to the president-his have been missing for a long time!

  • Bob - 2011-12-23 15:53

    It is a fuel tank for a satellite. 104 Litre Hydrazine Propellant Tank: Model OST 31/0. Google it.

      renesongs - 2011-12-23 18:39

      It took you less than a day to figure out exactly what the object is while the Namibian police have no clue even after more than a month. The mind boggles

      Ian - 2011-12-23 19:56

      bob, you have just crushed so many peoples dreams. You could just have said it came from the distant planet Theos.

      Andries - 2011-12-24 07:12

      Not a fuel tank. It is used to pressurise the fuel supply of subsequent stages of multi stage rockets

      Martin J Muller - 2012-02-02 11:43

      So no ET?

  • Norm - 2011-12-24 05:08

    Never underestimate the power of the Schwartz!

      Karmah - 2011-12-24 10:34

      Hahahahahahaha Captain our radars are being Jammed!

  • jorge.o.jasso - 2011-12-24 16:39


  • David - 2012-02-02 10:23

    E.T's balls just dropped.

  • Martin J Muller - 2012-02-02 11:33

    My dinosaur topic friens wil hav all the answers 2 this. They know everything. Realy. Wonder wher they r?

      AntiThesis - 2012-02-02 11:46

      Martin, maybe you should read (at least the comments on this page) a bit more. As per Bob, its a 104 Litre Hydrazine Propellant Tank: Model OST 31/0, used to pressurise the fuel supply of subsequent stages of multi stage rockets used in spacecraft and satellite applications This story is also old, it landed in Namibia in December already

      AntiThesis - 2012-02-02 11:51

      And I really don't know why you read the Science/Technology section of media24, as you have no grasp or need of it.

      Martin J Muller - 2012-02-02 11:52

      See. I knew ud know. I knew it I knew it!! Hmm..... I read that yes. But u alreadt knew didn't u? Anyway. Wana go on a date?

      Martin J Muller - 2012-02-02 11:54

      Ye I'm a dumb blond. But I do hav lotsa fun!!

      AntiThesis - 2012-02-02 11:56

      Martin, quickly ask the people around you if the voices in your head is bothering them

      Martin J Muller - 2012-02-02 11:59

      Nope! It doesn't. But it bothers me. Can u help me plz? Cause I c dead people...

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