Meteor explodes over US base in Greenland
06 August 2018
The Military Times has confirmed reports that a huge explosion took place above the US air force and early warning radar base at Thule in northern Greenland in late July when a meteor travelling at 24.4 kilometres per second disintegrated in the Earth’s atmosphere. There were no reports of any damage to the base or surrounding facilities.
It was a significant event with the explosive force of 2.1 kilotons, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, about a tenth the size of the Hiroshima atom bomb.
Thule, the US Armed Forces' northernmost installation, is home to a host of US defence and NASA research assets.
It has a network of sensors providing missile warning, space surveillance and space control to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Air Force Space Command (AFSPC).
The base hosts the 12th Space Warning Squadron (12 SWS) which operates a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) designed to detect and track ICBMs launched against North America.
In 2013, a large meteor struck Chelyabinsk in Russia causing damage to nearly 7,000 buildings and injuring 1,500 people.