'Mysterious' Namibian 'space ball' turns out to be fuel tank from unmanned rocket

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 26, 2011 05:50 hrs

A mysterious metal ball that thudded to a remote grassland in Namibia last month has been identified as a hydrazine tank from an unmanned rocket.

There was wide speculation after a bizarre object, made from a "metal alloy known to man", fell out of the sky in to the African nation.

Authorities were so baffled by the find NASA and the European Space Agency were called in to investigate.

After the investigation went public, a commentator on tech site Gawker identified the ball as 'a piece of an unmanned rocket,' News.com.au reports.

"For anyone wondering what it actually is, it's likely a 39-litre hydrazine bladder tank (based on its apparent size; there are also much larger hydrazine tanks). They're used on unmanned rockets for satellite launches, which would explain why they're falling down in such a specific geographic footprint," the commentator said.

According to the report, the European space company Astrium told Gawker that the tanks are found in the Ariane 5 rocket, which are frequently used by the European Space Agency to launch satellites.

Several similar balls have also dropped in southern Africa, Australia and Latin America in the past 20 years. (ANI)

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