Florida Family Sues NASA For $80,000 After Space Junk Smashes Through Home

The junk was jettisoned from the International Space Station. - Photo: NASA (Getty Images)
The junk was jettisoned from the International Space Station. - Photo: NASA (Getty Images)

A family in Florida faced a scary ordeal earlier this year. No, they weren’t caught up in a Ron DeSantis rally, instead they had their house smashed up by a chunk of junk from the International Space Station that smashed through their ceiling. Now, the family is suing NASA for $80,000 to cover the costs of the repairs.

On March 8, a family in Naples, Florida, were shocked out their skin when a huge chunk of junk came crashing through their ceiling. The unidentified falling object turned out to be a pack of depleted batteries from the International Space Station that were being sent back to Earth.

The impact left a hole in the roof of the house and damage to its flooring. Now, the family is suing NASA for $80,000 in compensation, reports the Guardian:


A family in Naples, Florida, whose home was struck by debris that fell to Earth from outer space and punched a hole in the roof is pursuing $80,000 from Nasa in compensation for damages.

The law firm Cranfill Sumner said in a press release that it filed a claim on behalf of plaintiff Alejandro Otero and his family.

A metallic cylinder slab from a cargo pallet that had been released by the International Space Station in 2021 hit the Otero family home on 8 March 2024 while their son Daniel was home. No one was injured, though it created a hole in the roof and floor.

NASA now has six months to respond to the legal challenge, which is hoping to set a precedent for what happens to households affected by falling space junk in the future.

Despite the case’s aims, getting hit by falling space junk is incredibly rare, reports NPR. It was expected that the majority of the junk offloaded from the ISS would burn up when passing through the Earth’s atmosphere. However, in a “startling rare instance” the junk made it back to Earth, landing in a densely populated area like Florida:

“Space debris is a real and serious issue because of the increase in space traffic in recent years,” the family’s attorney, Mica Nguyen Worthy, said in a statement. “My clients are seeking adequate compensation to account for the stress and impact that this event had on their lives.”

Worthy noted that the 19-year-old son of homeowner Alejandro Otero was in the house at the time of the incident but was a few rooms away from the impact and was unharmed. “They are grateful that no one sustained physical injuries from this incident, but a ‘near miss’ situation such as this could have been catastrophic.”

If you are worried about space junk falling from the skies, now is a good time to start preparing as NASA will soon bring the ISS itself crashing back to Earth. After that happens, the space station will be replaced by a privateer effort from the likes of Blue Origin.

For the latest news, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.