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Woman Hit by Space Junk, Lives to Tell the Tale

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posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:08 AM
I swear my car got hit with space junk last year. I was driving down the street (no cars around me, no bridges, no houses for annoying kids to hide behind... just lil ol me) when my windshield all of a sudden shattered. Here's the pic I took when I finally got where I was going. You can even see the glass inside the car from where it broke through.
Never did find what hit my window though.

posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 02:33 AM
Something to keep in mind about being hit by space junk, or even “airplane” junk:

First for space junk; most of it will burn up on reentry, so nobody will be hit by the satellite. The small bits that do survive reentry and slow down to a speed where they do not burn will eventually reach earth. But keep in mind the “minimum” speed they will be traveling will be critical velocity due to gravity.

This is where space and airplane junk merge to the same thing. Any object falling from space, or from an airplane will at minimum reach critical velocity. This velocity is different for various object based on their wind resistance characteristics. However, unless the object is something like a parachute or feather, when it impacts it is going to do serious damage. If something like an aluminum can were to be dropped from a plane, and hit a person, they may not die but it would be bad. Loss of limbs, shattered bones etc. The can has a very low mass to surface area ratio, but it is fairly aerodynamic so it would still have a large amount of impact force. However something like a bit of machinery, or any “solid” item would most assuredly mess up a person or a car. Even if you took that same aluminum can and smashed it, you would now have an impact more akin to being hit by a cannon. As the mass to wind resistance ratio is now very large, it will gain much more speed. The mass remains the same of course but the speed is far greater and thus the impact force is far greater.

The point here is any item that may in theory fall off an airplane or from space is going to kill a person, or at least seriously injure them. And the same goes for a car windshield. If what ever hit that car really fell from space or an airplane, there would be a hole all the way through the glass at a minimum, and most likely all the way through the car, and the pavement beneath. As for the woman’s story it may indeed still be true if it did not actually hit her, but just passed by so close that she felt its shock wave in passing. This would be far more believable than actually being struck. And as for the car window, far more likely it was from a roof top or something nearby. As it was obviously struck squarely, if it was any sort or airplane part or space junk it would have trashed the window at a minimum and most likely far worse.

edit on 22-9-2011 by byeluvolk because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 01:30 PM
reply to post by byeluvolk

I see your point. Probably would have caused more damage. If it were larger than an inch or so and like you said, even semi-aerodynamic.
However... like I mentioned in my post, there was nothing near me. No houses even. Just lonely 'ol me. Big wide open desert road. No cars in front of me either. So whatever hit my windshield had no other place to come from than above me. Unless someone was hiding out in the sand dunes shooting a potato gun or something from far away, I was completely alone on the road at the time.
So, whatever hit it may have been small, light, and non-aeordynamic or something, I don't know. But I do know that there was absolutely nothing near me that could have caused this.

posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 12:34 AM
reply to post by CeeRZ

Yes, I do not doubt your story; just pointing out it was probably not from space, or an airplane. Unless it was a very low flying airplane, like an ultra light or something that is. I do not know anything about the road or the surroundings, so I can’t really comment on what it might have been. Maybe it was a bird? I have hit birds before that shattered my windshield like that.


LOL, well wait, I just noticed your location is Utah. So maybe I am VERY familiar with the road. I did live in Grantsville from about 1972 until 1986, and then again from about 1990 to 1998. Basically all my grade school / high school years and then a bit in my late 20’s
edit on 23-9-2011 by byeluvolk because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 04:58 PM
reply to post by byeluvolk

Well, if you have ever been out to Wendover... you know the road I'm talking about. I80 heading East coming back from Wendover.

posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 08:37 PM
reply to post by CeeRZ

Yes I know it well. I fact at one point during my HS years I drove it daily, as I worked out at the Nuclear waste disposal site. So are you from Grantsville? Or were you just passing by?

posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 10:31 PM
reply to post by byeluvolk

Wow, yeah.. you do know that drive well!
I was heading back into the valley from Wendover. You know....poor man's Vegas

posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 10:37 PM
reply to post by CeeRZ

LOL funny, however now I work in the real vegas.

posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 10:51 PM

Originally posted by 17sok
I think the odds of it hitting 'someone' was 1 in 3,200. However the odds of it hitting a particular person, ie; yourself, were a lot longer... I'm sure it was more like 1 in 22,000,000,000

7 Billion people times 3,200 = 22,400,000,000,000 so one in 22 trillion chance of hitting you if I'm correct haha.

Now that's some crazy odds!
edit on 23-9-2011 by _Phoenix_ because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 24 2011 @ 08:58 PM
I'll gladly take my chances with something having the mass and density of an empty aluminum can falling on me from space. In fact, I wouldn't even get worried over it.

However if it has the mass and density of a full aluminum can, now that's going to hurt!

posted on Sep, 27 2011 @ 05:04 AM
reply to post by pauljs75

Drag Coefficient of a cylinder = ~1.17
Aluminum Can: 17 grams
Full: 390 grams
Cross Section = 12.192cm x 6.35cm

Using the NASA Terminal Velocity calculator , we find:

Terminal Velocity from an airliner @ 12000m =
10.905 m/sec (empty)
52.231 m/sec (full)
Impact force empty = 17x10.905 = 185.385 Newtons
And full = 390x52.231 = 4252.95 Newtons

Terminal Velocity from 30km (basically as high as the NASA calculator goes)
45.563 m/sec (empty)
218.234 m/sec (full)
Impact force empty = 17x45.563 = 774.571 Newtons
And full = 390x45.563 = 85111.26 Newtons

A human skull will fracture at about 73 Newtons.
So, no, I do not recommend you try this at home.

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