Piece of Russian rocket falls into ocean off Labrador
A piece of a Russian rocket used to launch a series of satellites into orbit has landed off eastern Labrador, according to NORAD.
A 20-square-metre piece of debris made a splash on Boxing Day after passing into the Earth's atmosphere.
U.S. Lt.-Cmdr. Gary Ross said the North American Aerospace Defence Command has identified the debris as part of a Russian rocket used to fire three satellites into space on Dec. 25.
"It did re-enter the atmosphere over eastern Labrador in Canada and continued on its trajectory out into the North Atlantic Ocean," Ross said.
"I don't have any information on what the planned descent was at all."
The coast guard wasn't able to provide any other information on what happened or what risk it may have posed. However, space educator Randy Attwood said the piece of rocket didn't present much of a threat to people.
"To put something up into the Earth's orbit it has to be light. Once it hits the upper layers of the atmosphere, it literally just tears itself apart. It's a very, very minuscule threat to anybody," Attwood said.
Russia is in the midst of an ambitious program to improve its Glonass satellites, a network similar to the U.S. global positioning system.
The Russian Embassy in Ottawa says it has not been contacted by the Canadian government about the incident.