[meteorite-list] Meteor Over East Coast Identified As Russian Space Junk

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:48:56 2004
Message-ID: <200109061803.LAA23558_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Meteor identified as Russian space junk
September 6, 2001

TRENTON, New Jersey (AP) -- A fiery object streaked across the sky over much
of the East Coast early Thursday, and Navy officials said it was a Russian
rocket that re-entered the atmosphere after orbiting Earth since 1975.

The SL3 rocket body re-entered the atmosphere shortly before 6 a.m. about
100 miles off Delaware, said Navy Cmdr. Rod Gibbons, a spokesman for the
U.S. Space Command at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

"The object was not designed to survive re-entry" and likely burned up
before any pieces could reach the ground, Gibbons said.

Gibbons said the rocket was one of 8,300 man-made objects the center was
tracking in space. Some 17,000 such objects have re-entered Earth's
atmosphere since the late 1950s, he said.

People from Massachusetts to Virginia reported seeing the object.

Charles Tekula, 49, a commercial fisherman in Long Island, was with his son
at about 5:30 a.m. when he saw the sky light up.

"At first thought it was a jetliner coming toward us, but then I saw a smoke
trail," he said.

"My son said it looked like a big, slow-moving firework across the sky."
Tekula said. "We were speechless, it was the most fantastic thing I'd ever

Officials at the National Weather Service and the Naval Observatory had
earlier speculated that the object was a meteor.
Received on Thu 06 Sep 2001 02:03:26 PM PDT

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