Space junk lands in Spain
In the space of about a week, three items of space junk have landed in Eastern Spain. Mula and Calasparra in Murcia were first to be hit, closely followed by Elda in Valencia. Bomb disposal experts and agents in hazmat suits rushed to the scene, while bemused locals looked on.
Mula in Murcia was the first to be hit when a black beehive-esque ball, weighing approximately 20kg, was found by goat-herding brothers Francisco and Juan Espín del Amo, while they were tending to their herd.
Spokeswoman for Calasparra town hall, Maria Jose Gomariz, said: “In the early morning of the day when the first object was found, witnesses said they saw between six and seven balls of fire falling from the sky.” She added, “Maybe there were just two balls of fire and it looked like there were more, or some may have fallen in areas where no one goes.”
José Vélez, the mayor of Calasparra, expressed concerns on behalf of his constituents about the potential threat posed by the strange object to their safety and security. He told UK newspaper, The Express: “I think it is a more serious issue than it seems. Citizens have real concerns about what is happening and deserve an explanation. I think it is a more serious issue than it seems. Where are these objects coming from? Why are they falling here precisely? Will more of them fall?”
Luckily, the cousin of Francisco and Juan was on hand to make it all better after he went to the internet for an explanation and speculated that the object could be part of a space station. He told Spanish newspapers that the orb showed signs of being a composite over-wrapped pressure vessel (COPV), which is constructed from a material resistant enough to survive re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere without being completely destroyed.
Then a similar, but smaller, object was discovered 30km away in Calasparra, still within the province of Murcia. Finally, at the weekend it was the turn of Elda in Valencia where a farmer found a long, metal-like object in his field.
The discoveries caused great excitement among the locals, but even more so from the experts who dropped their Superman comics and iDoofers in their haste to see the fallen goodies.
In both cases, police determined that the objects posed no risk to human health and emitted no radioactivity. “They could be auxiliary fuel tanks belonging to a rocket,” said a source at Murcia’s Guardia Civil.
The long metal-like object found in Elda in Valencia was transferred to nearby Alicante for further investigation.
According to Nasa, more than half a million objects are currently orbiting our planet, and bits of space junk plummet to our planet every year.
“Houston, we have a problem,” quipped an editorial in Spain’s El Pais daily. “Some measures may have been taken to tackle the problem, but we’re far from a solution,” it said before adding, “Not only is it expensive, but it’s also difficult to devise a garbage collection system to go sweep in space.”
Ed: Why is nobody asking where the big hole is that should be caused by anything coming in from a great height? Perhaps this isn’t the last we’ve seen of these odd objects, and the local crop circle groups will be weeping and wailing that they hadn’t thought of it. Or are they…?
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.