Mystery Space Junk Crashes Into Myanmar - Atlas Obscura
Our new kids' book is on sale! Shop now.

Mystery Space Junk Crashes Into Myanmar

The sky is falling.

Where did this cosmic crap come from?
Where did this cosmic crap come from?

While the metaphorical skies might be falling down across America, in Myanmar, the skies are literally coming down, as according to the BBC, a large chunk of what was apparently space debris crashed down yesterday around a local jade mine.

Residents of the Kachin state in northern Myanmar began reporting hearing a loud boom that apparently shook nearby houses on Thursday. At first, the locals thought it might be an explosion or some kind of artillery, but the culprit turned out to be a large piece of metal junk returning to Earth.

No one is positive exactly where it came from. According to early guesses, the 15-foot-long tube may have been a rocket stage that was ejected from a Chinese rocket launched back in March. These propulsion segments are usually meant to land in water or uninhabited areas, but it’s possible that it veered off course. This theory was corroborated by another, smaller piece of falling metal that shot through a local home around the same time. This bit of debris was reported as having Chinese writing on it.

This is not the first time large pieces of space junk have plummeted to Earth. The most famous example of such a crash being NASA’s Skylab, pieces of which crashed back to Earth in 1979. Some of the pieces landed around the Shire of Esperance in Australia, which fined NASA for littering. No one was injured by the falling debris in Myanmar, but it remains to be seen if they will pursue a similar ticket.