The Great Space Ball Mystery Has Been Solved
The Great Space Ball Mystery of ought-eleven has been solved, but it's not an extraterrestrial probe or government doomsday device or anything cool like that. Turns out it's a "bladder tank."
The Great Space Ball Mystery of ought-eleven has been solved, but it's not an extraterrestrial probe or government doomsday device or anything cool like that. Turns out it's only a "bladder tank." When a mysterious crusty space ball crash-landed in Namibia in November, calls to NASA and the European Space Agency didn't get authorities any closer to pinning down what exactly had landed in their backyards, while Mel Brooks fans delighted in the nod in the "space ball" name and the rest ogled the astro-nut to guess at what it is. The story has been picked up widely the last few days, but now we know what it is: Gawker's Adrian Chen wrote about the 13-pound ball on Friday morning and a commenter identified it. "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)," he wrote. "They're used on unmanned rockets for satellite launches, which would explain why they're falling down in such a specific geographic footprint." We're not sure what this is more of a testament to: the power of online crowdsourcing or the Internet's fascination with anything with the word "balls" in it. In any case, we had our fingers crossed for doomsday device.