JASPER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Jasper County officials are waiting for word from space officials on what to do with a piece of what NASA officials say was from a Chinese rocket which disintegrated over East Texas.
"We're calling it a mysterious space ball," County Judge Mark Allen said with a laugh.
Allen said a resident called one of the county commissioners around March 11 and reported the titanium ball was found in a hayfield off of FM 1004, near Buna.
"It was a big metal ball and it left a little crater in the ground," Allen said.
Allen said county officials called NASA to report what they found and got a call back from an aerospace engineer, who said it was most likely from a Chinese rocket, which had disintegrated.
About a month prior, a similar piece was found about a mile south of the location.
"We're trying to figure out what needs to be done with it," Allen said. "Based on the international treaty, the launching nation retains ownership. We don't really know if they'll come back for a piece like this."
"For now, we've left it with the landowner," Allen said. "But we're hoping to hear back from them."