Roy McIlrath pulled back the curtains of his Ventnor home this morning to discover a satellite the size of a bus in his back garden.
"I was quite upset," said McIlrath. "It landed on me lettuce. Worse than that, I was keeping me lettuce in me greenhouse for the winter. Who's going to pay for that?"
The satellite, ReBeKAr, is the size of a double decker bus of the type that are used on the mainland, as opposed to the single decker coach type that are more common on the island. It weighs approximately one hundred and seventy tonnes and was used as a communication satellite.
"We'd been tracking ReBeKAr for about a week," said Dan Jerrus of NASA's Orbital Tracking Division. "Ever since learning of it's orbital destabilisation we've been keeping a close eye on it."
Jerrus admitted that they'd been unsure of where, exactly, it would touch down.
"Ordinarily, we'd put a dead satellite into a burn orbit and let it break up on re-entry," said Jerrus. "ReBeKAr's size has meant that this did not happen. We tracked it on entry, and realised it would be coming down in the English Channel. We couldn't narrow it down to less than a one hundred and thirty-square mile radius though."
Shipping in the Channel was alerted and stopped over night and NASA scrambled their satellite retrieval team. However, with the satellite landing squarely on top of McIlrath's lettuce, salvage rights lie squarely with him.
"That news perked me right up," said McIlrath. "I read on t'interweb that there's loads of gold and other precious stuff in satellites. I'm going to ring We Buy Any Gold and see how much they'll give me for it."