NPR : News

Filed Under:

Cue The Scary Music: 'Space Ball' Crashes In Namibia

It's said to be made of a "metal alloy known to man," according to Agence France Presse. (We enjoyed that Spock-like line.)

But there's much that isn't known about what's being called a "space ball" that came down in Namibia last month: Such as where or what it came from.

Officials from NASA and the European Space Agency have been contacted.

Local authorities, according to AFP, don't think the object poses any danger. (Somewhat snide aside: Isn't that what local authorities always say?)

When the object hit some grassland, it reportedly left behind a 13-inches-deep, 12.5-feet-long skid mark.

This apparently isn't the only "space ball" to have come down in recent years. "Several such balls have dropped in southern Africa, Australia and Latin America in the past twenty years, authorities found in an Internet search," AFP says. reminds us that "quite a bit of space junk has rained from the sky this year" and that more is on the way:

"In September ... NASA's defunct Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) ... plunged into the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. Just a month later, Germany's 2.7-ton Roentgen Satellite (ROSAT) fell to Earth over the Indian Ocean. ... Russia's failed Phobos-Grunt Mars probe got stuck in Earth orbit shortly after its Nov. 8 launch, and it's been circling lower and lower ever since. Most experts predict the 14.5-ton spacecraft will come crashing down by mid-January."

Anyone out there know what it is?

(Uh, just to be clear, the news about this object is for real; but that question isn't really serious — unless you think so.)
Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


'If They Have It, It's Undeniable': Lorne Michaels On Casting 'SNL'

The Saturday Night Live executive producer says criticism of the show's perceived lack of diversity frustrated him, but that the perception needed to be addressed.

Chef Paul Prudhomme Will Live On Through His Restaurants, Spices And Books

Chef Paul Prudhomme has died at the age of 75. He revolutionized Cajun and Creole cuisine and popularized it throughout the world, creating a craze for "blackened" everything.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - October 9, 2015

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe joins Kojo and Tom Sherwood in the studio.


Beyond The 'Like' Button: Facebook Comes To Our Emotional Rescue

Facebook reveals new emojis it's testing to expand the iconic "Like" button. All Tech Considered welcomes a new host, who tries to explain her vision for the blog using Facebook's seven "Reactions."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.