Debris from European space launch lands in Amazon

The United Kingdom Space Agency confirmed that debris discovered by a fisherman in the Brazilian Amazon was from a satellite launched in French Guiana on July 25, 2013.
By JC Finley   |   April 30, 2014 at 11:14 AM   |   Comments

BRASILIA, Brazil, April 30 (UPI) -- Debris from a European space launch has resurfaced in the Brazilian Amazon.

A fisherman discovered a large piece of metal, bearing the logo for the United Kingdom Space and Arianespace satellite company, floating in a remote river in the Salinopolis municipality.

Manuel Alves dos Santos came upon the debris while fishing on Saturday evening. "It hit my fishing line and I pushed to the bank of the river to see what it was. It is the first time I see something like that," he told O Liberal newspaper.

Police, doubtful of the claims, did not initially respond to the scene until the local media reported the event.

UK Space Agency spokeswoman Julia Short confirmed the debris was from a satellite that was launched from the Kourou base in French Guiana on July 25, 2013. "It is the launch vehicle payload shroud from the Alphasat launch last year. It probably landed in the Atlantic and then floated inland."

The piece of debris was said to be "the size of a car" and required 10 people to remove it from the river.

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