VietNamNet Bridge – The objects that fell from the sky in the provinces of Tuyen Quang and Yen Bai in northern Vietnam on January 2 may be the gas tank of an expired satellite that did not completely burn in the atmosphere, or the result of a failed launch of a satellite, a Vietnamese expert has said.
The object is examining by military officials of Tuyen Quang Province.
Professor Nguyen Khoa Son, from the State Space Science and Technology Program, said the objects may be the fuel tank of a satellite. Such objects have been discovered in other countries, Son said.
He said there are thousands of satellites in the sky. After completing their missions, many satellites enter the earth's atmosphere and burn up. They are controlled by humans to move out of residential areas, such as to the sea or the desert. Some big satellites, however, might not burn up completely and fall to earth.
There is another supposition: the objects are intact, suggesting they fell from a low altitude, below 100 km. "This may be the result of a failed launch of satellite," Professor Son said.
An expert from the Vietnam Space Center agreed with Son, adding that the objects may be a liquid gas tank for the control engine of a satellite.
Meanwhile, an aerospace expert argued that the gas tank must have a valve. He suggested that the authorities should consider the depth of the hole created by the object and the materials used to make the objects.
The unidentified object.
Earlier, Vietnam People's Army Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Lieut. Gen. Vo Van Tuan denied that the strange objects came from the army. He said that so far there was no confirmation on what exactly the objects were and where they came from.
At about 7:00am Saturday, residents in Bao Dap and Tan Dong communes in Yen Bai reportedly heard what sounded like thunder, despite no signs of rain.
They later found a strange round object with a diameter of about 40 centimeters lying on the ground in resident Tran Thi Loi's garden in Hamlet 1.
Tuyen Quang Military Command Deputy Commander Tran Van Du said that the sphere in question was made of alloy material and weighed about 35 kilos. He said the sphere was not a bomb and was not made of explosive materials.
The object was completely sealed off, making it infeasible to look at the inside. But echoes from knocking on its surface reportedly indicated that the sphere was probably empty.
Another metal piece, weighing about 0.2 kilos, was also found about five kilometers from Loi's house. The piece was said to have hit a resident's house. No one was injured.
Meanwhile, residents in Tan My commune in Tuyen Quang, a neighboring province to the east of Yen Bai, also heard three big explosion sounds around the same time in Saturday morning before discovering another strange round item on vacant land in Na Giang hamlet.
Tan My police said the sphere's surface was metal and had a diameter of nearly 100 centimeters.
An investigation is continuing.