SpaceX: how was space debris discovered in a sheep pen in Australia?

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The charred space debris, believed to have fallen on July 9, was discovered last week in Dalgety, a remote New South Wales village about five hours’ drive southwest of Sydney.

Authorities confirmed Thursday, August 4, that charred space debris found in Australia in a sheep pen by a rancher came from one of SpaceX’s missions. The piece of metal, believed to have fallen on July 9, was discovered last week in Dalgety, a remote village in New South Wales about five hours’ drive south-west of Sydney.

A piece of metal dropped from the Crew-1 capsule

“It was both exciting and strange,” Brad Tucker, an astrophysicist who visited the site after being contacted in July by local farmers, told AFP. He said that the discovery of this piece buried in an empty field reminded him of the science fiction movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The Australian Space Agency confirmed in a press release that this debris came from one of the missions carried out by SpaceX, which belongs to the multi-billionaire Elon Musk. Brad Tucker said this piece of metal is part of a part that was dropped from the Crew-1 capsule during its re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere in 2021.

Most space debris falls into the ocean

Other space junk has also been found on nearby properties and it is possible that it has a connection to SpaceX’s mission. Most space junk ends up in the ocean, but as the space industry grows around the world, the amount of debris crashing to Earth is expected to increase, he added. “We have to recognize that there is a probable risk that this will affect a populated area,” said the Australian Space Agency, which said it was trying to reduce the amount of debris and had raised the issue internationally.

“The most important thing is that there are no injuries or damage”

Benjamin Reed, a SpaceX official, told a press conference that the company is aware of this information and that a “team is on its way to confirm it”. “Obviously the most important thing is that there is no damage or injury,” he added, adding that SpaceX was in contact with the US State Department and the Australian Space Agency. “This is one of those things that can happen,” though SpaceX “will always be looking for ways to improve” on those points, Benjamin Reed said. The Crew-1 crew lifted off from Florida in November 2020 and returned to Earth in May 2021.

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