Flying Refrigerators

There is a piece of debris the size of a refrigerator in a decaying orbit around the earth. It’s expected to re-enter the atmosphere sometime in the early morning hours Monday, November 3, in the sky above someplace other than Antarctica.

Upgrading the International Space Station

The debris was jettisoned from the International Space Station. It isn’t actually a refrigerator but a 1400-pound ammonia reservoir pitched overboard in July, 2007. It does give an entirely new slant to the rural tradition of leaving refrigerators in the front yard. What could be more rural that the Space Station?

The orbiting refrigerator is expected to end in a spectacular fireball. They’re just not sure where or when. NASA has determined that it won’t burn above Antarctica, give or take 15 hours.

The falling refrigerator brings to mind – at least, my mind, – stories of frozen pooh falling through the roof. It’s likely an urban myth but the story goes that commercial airliners once routinely dumped the contents of their holding tanks while underway. At high altitude the pooh froze instantly into a block hard as Portland cement. One piece ultimately crashed through the roof of some luckless bastard who was watching re-runs of The Beverly Hillbillies in Peoria. Or so the story goes.

It’s always wise advice to keep a weather eye open for falling refrigerators…or frozen pooh.

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