Charred part three meters high
SpaceX space debris crashes into sheep pasture
Not everything that comes from above is good: In Australia, a sheep farmer discovers fallen debris from a SpaceX rocket in his pasture. Fortunately, he fell from the sky in a remote area. The sheep were also unharmed.
An Australian sheep farmer has found a large piece of space junk from Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX in a pasture. The Australian Space Agency confirmed that the charred debris came from one of SpaceX’s missions. According to media reports, the part is about three meters high. “It’s scary that it fell out of the sky,” farmer Mick Miners told ABC News. “If it had landed in a house, it would have been a huge disaster.”
The space debris was found last week in Dalgety, about a five-hour drive southwest of Sydney, but likely fell to Earth on July 9. Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has calculated that the find site is actually close to the re-entry path of the SpaceX capsule.
The dropped part goes well with a fin on the hollow cylinder of the “Dragon,” as the SpaceX space capsule is called, McDowell wrote on Twitter. Astrophysicist Brad Tucker, who studied the find in the remote region, spoke of a situation “both exciting and strange”; the blackened find in a deserted landscape reminded him of the legendary opening scene of the classic film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
Tucker said the find could be the largest piece of space debris to land on the Australian continent since 1979. He estimates it came from SpaceX’s first mission on behalf of the US space agency NASA.
The part was ejected from the crew capsule when it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and has likely been circling Earth since 2020 before it finally started to leave orbit, Tucker explained in a radio podcast with host Australian Ben Fordham. However, when it entered Earth’s atmosphere, the fragment did not break up as planned and landed in the ocean.
With his aerospace company SpaceX, Tesla boss and billionaire Elon Musk offers private trips to space and transports astronauts into space on behalf of NASA. SpaceX’s next space mission is scheduled to begin in Florida on Thursday night at 7:08 pm (local time). On Twitter, an ABC reporter asked Musk if anyone on his team would like to come and collect space debris in Australia. So far there has been no response.
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