Lottie Williams shows the piece of debris that hit her (Credits: Tulsa World).

US website Aerospace reports the story of Lottie Williams, the only human being who has been hit so far by an orbital debris: “Reportedly, only one individual has been struck by debris from a reentering spacecraft’s. Lottie Williams of Tulsa, Oklahoma reported that she was struck on the shoulder while walking. The timing and location were consistent with debris from the Delta second stage reentry from which debris was recovered several hundred miles away in Texas. The debris that struck Ms. Williams has not been examined to confirm its origin.”

According to Space.com “The debris was later confirmed to have been part of a fuel tank from a Delta 2 rocket, and other pieces of the booster were recovered several hundred miles away in Texas.”

Lottie Williams with a detail of the debris which hit her on the shoulder (Credits: Lottie Williams).

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About the author

Andrea Gini

Andrea Gini

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Andrea Gini is a scientific journalist and a professional of the space industry, working as a contractor on ISS Payload Safety. He is the Editor-in-chief of the Space Safety Magazine. Andrea is also Chairman of the Information and Communication Committee of the International Association for Advancement in Space Safety (IAASS), publisher of the Space Safety Magazine, and he is responsible for the communication strategy of the association, Andrea holds a BSc and an MSc in computer science from the University of Milano, a Master in scientific journalism from the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste and a MSc in Space Studies from the International Space University.

  • Micahel Listner

    The key part to this story is that while the United States government thanked Ms. Williams for bringing the fragment to their attention, they never officially admitted that the piece came from a Delta II. If they had, that could have opened the door to a claim for compensation.