A woman in Tulsa, Okla., felt something brush her shoulder while on a walk in 1997. It was a part of the Delta II rocket, launched in 1996. The woman was unhurt and is thought to be the only person ever hit by re-entering debris.
The Soviet satellite Kosmos 954, which sported a tiny nuclear reactor, crashed into the Canadian Arctic in 1978, scattering radioactive waste across thousands of square miles. Only 0.1% of the debris was ever recovered.
When a titanium sphere was found in western Australia in 1965, it was initially thought to be a UFO phenomenon and labeled the “Merkanooka ball.” The sphere was later found to be a water tank from the Gemini 5 spacecraft.
This appears in the November 28, 2016 issue of TIME.
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