RE: Reentry of 14052B / 40142

From: Ted Molczan via Seesat-l <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2014 09:48:23 -0500
Marco Langbroek wrote regarding the object found in Southend, England in November 1968:

> The object on the photo looks like pieces of industrial slag I have seen. So
> that would be my first interpretation of it, rather than space debris, unless
> something in the composition/morphology suggests otherwise and clearly connects
> it to space debris.
> Note that each year I get several reports (as potential "meteorites") of objects
> that did damage, including objects that went through windows. Invariably it is
> accompanied by "reasons" (as in the BAA article) why it/the damage "cannot" have
> a terrestrial origin. Over the past 20 years none of it however was a genuine
> meteorite or space debris. So be careful there.

Thank you, Marco. In my notes from Pierre Neirinck, I have the results of a chemical analysis of the stone attributed to
A.J. Christopher:

CaO 40%
MgO 18%
SiO2 38%
Al2O3 9%

This does seem like slag from iron or steelmaking.

Table 1 Major Chemical Constituents in Blast Furnace Slag

Constituent           Weight Percent
Lime (CaO)               32 to 45
Magnesia (MgO)            5 to 15
Silica (Si02)            32 to 42
Alumina(Al203)            7 to 16
Sulfur (S)                1 to 2
Iron Oxide (Fe203)      0.1 to 1.5
Manganese Oxide (MnO)   0.2 to 1.0

The B.A.A. paper I quoted from had the results of a different type of test:

"The rock is a ceramic, bluish grey in colour and very hard, and from an X-ray fluorescence analysis, the following
composition was obtained: iron 100 parts, barium 75 parts, strontium 30 parts, manganese 20 parts, zinc 10 parts, copper
5 parts, yttrium 5 parts. The above accounts for less than 5 % of the whole sample."

I do not know which test to believe. Would a material with either set of properties have been a likely component of a
rocket stage, or likely to have formed during re-entry? 1968-102B / 3543, was a Russian model 11A57I stage.

Ted Molczan

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Received on Wed Dec 31 2014 - 08:49:03 UTC

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