Have you ever thought about having debris from a spaceship in your backyard? This happened to a farmer in Washington (USA) who saw pieces of a part of Facon 9, from SpaceX, on his property. The rocket from Elon Musk’s company took off last March 4, but the incident was registered on the 26th, during re-entry into the land when one of the components ended up having a different destination than planned.
The procedure is standard, but the idea was that the re-entry would take place in the Indian Ocean, in an area previously calculated and properly evacuated. The debris was even filmed lighting up the US sky.
The object that hit the farm was described as being the size of a “punching bag” and was probably part of COPV (an acronym for Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessel), an extremely resistant piece made to pressurize tanks. Which may explain the fact that it arrived entirely on the ground.
Pieces of a SpaceX spacecraft
“Neither the owner of the property nor our sergeant are rocket scientists, of course, but judging from what happened a few days earlier, it looked like they were possibly debris from the Falcon 9 reentry,” said Kyle Foreman, a county police spokesman. from Grant County.
“Of course, we didn’t have a protocol for that, so we were wrong to give someone else’s property back to them,” added Foreman. The agents contacted SpaceX, who went to the scene to pick up the pieces.
Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, commented on the case with The Verge and said it appeared to be a problem with the re-entry procedure.
“It’s a puzzle that the object was not removed from orbit under control on March 4, it looks like something went wrong, but SpaceX said nothing about it,” said McDowell. “However, such reentry takes place every two weeks. It is very unusual for this to happen in a densely populated area, just because this is a small fraction of the Earth. ”, Added the specialist.
As Marcelo Zurita explained in his column at Olhar Digital, international treaties make the owner of the rocket, in this case SpaceX, responsible for picking up the pieces and indemnifying residents in case of possible damage.
Via The Verge
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