Space ball falls in Namibia

2011-12-22 18:04

Windhoek - A metallic ball weighing 6kg fell out of the sky and landed in north-east Namibia, the National Forensic Science Institute (NFCI) said on Thursday, adding that it was conducting tests in order to find out what it was.

Paul Ludik from the NFCI was quick to dismiss any notion that it was foreign to the planet, saying the metal alloy was known to man and used in spacecraft.

The ball, which has no markings, has a circumference of 110cm and made a loud exploding sound when it landed in late November in the Omusati region, a relatively populated part of the vast southern African nation.

Ludik said the noise could have been a sonic boom or just the sound of the object hitting the ground.

No space agency has yet claimed the item, which remains in Namibian police custody.

"We are awaiting the final outcome of our analysis before we release more information," Ludik said.

Similar incidents in the southern hemisphere have been recorded before.

  • jacques.buckle - 2011-12-22 18:14

    pity it didnt land on malemas head

      Sean - 2011-12-22 18:22


      Squeegee - 2011-12-22 18:56

      Darn, I missed him. Now for my next trick....

      Fredster - 2011-12-23 10:05

      Chuck Norris flicked a bougie

  • Graham.Cooper2 - 2011-12-22 18:21

    So why the secrecy we would like to see what it looks like or do we have to be shot once weve seen it. Oh and in future remember to mark your balls.

      thabo.tebele - 2011-12-22 19:07

      Lol,thats funny.I will certainly remember to mark all my balls.Just in case it falls of and i need to prove to the authorities that its mine.I also would love to see it though,just don't get it what is a big deal to make it a secret anyway,maybe its from the gods.

  • Comrade - 2011-12-22 18:33

    1500km off target. Juliaas Malema lives in SANDTON!!!

      Morné - 2011-12-22 19:44

      @ Andries: from all the thumbs down it would seem no-one can spot sarcasm, even if it jumped up and bit them on the keester.

      Andries - 2011-12-23 03:05

      Morné, :-)

  • Lezanne - 2011-12-22 18:47

    Here's a link to a photograph of the ball.

      cliff.slabbert - 2011-12-22 20:54

      Thanks Lezanne It looks like a huge cistern float.

      shauncro - 2011-12-23 10:23

      Looks like a Buoy that you find in the harbours!

  • Billy - 2011-12-22 19:05

    A metre wide hollow metallic ball weighing only 6kg would very likely have burnt up on re-entry if it fell from space. More likely to have come off a passing plane (or from a very big catapult situated in Angola - maybe the Angolan military was practising with its long-range weaponry).

  • timdifano - 2011-12-22 19:05

    Most likely a hydrazine tank, they are used on high altitude balloons (weather balloons) as well as spacecraft to carry propellant. Given the good condition of this one, one can guess that it has not undergone the rigors of re-entry and thus is from a balloon.

  • mystae - 2011-12-22 19:17

    Dear News24, your reporting remains lacking. You say similar incidents have occurred before, but you neglect to mention them. You sometimes report about websites, without giving their address or a link to them. You publish articles about images without displaying them. It doesn't make for good content.

      HelenLouiseW - 2011-12-23 10:33

      Well said!

  • riaanfourieface - 2011-12-22 19:28

    The gods must be crazy!

  • aruan999 - 2011-12-22 20:39

    further news: while the space craft...mmm ball...landed, two children had their 1st ice cream, 2 frogs had sex, and a small animal I have never seen before, could be a Martian rabbit!

  • Phillip - 2011-12-22 21:17

    Houston, we have a problem...

      Anthony - 2011-12-22 21:47

      good one

  • Emile - 2011-12-22 21:43

    And heres a link to a shiny new one:

  • Andries - 2011-12-23 00:36

    My rocket scientist son says they fall all over the world. Some landed in the Free State the other day. It is a very thin stainless steel ball with lots of carbon filament wound around it to give it strength to withstand huge pressure. It filled with helium at tremendous pressure and is used between the different stages of space rockets to pressurise the fuel supply of each stage. Once a stage burns out and seperates from the main rocket these empty balls fall out. Because of the carbon fibre and its very low mass they do not burn out in the atmosphere - also the reason why it does not dent or buries itself into the earth on falling.

  • Sloane - 2011-12-23 08:52

    so who is launching rockets?

      Andries - 2011-12-23 10:44

      The US and Russia and China and Europe and India all the time. The past week there were at least 4 major launches.

  • Sattva - 2011-12-23 09:27

    hehehehehe - that kinda reminds me of the Coke Bottle in THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY !

      Andries - 2011-12-23 10:49

      SATTVA, You are the second one to say that! I have just received a note from my friend in Colorado who had seen the film and made the same observation. In fact last year this time one ball fell near his home and was found by someone he knows.

  • Gavin - 2011-12-23 09:41

    Spaceballs!? There goes the planet...

  • Phoenix - 2011-12-23 13:41

    Typical reporting. There is nothing mysterious here - it is a fuel tank called a Hydrazine Propellant Tank that is used in satelites.

  • poaul - 2011-12-26 10:20

    I have a bit of a problem with a 110cm circ. ball (made of metal) weighing only 6kg's?

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