- A piece of burning SpaceX rocket debris landed on a man’s farm in eastern Washington State.
- It was part of the second stage of a Falcon 9 rocket, which was found after a launch on March 25.
- The debris left a 10cm dent in the ground but no one was hurt, authorities said.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A piece of burning rocket debris seen streaking across the Pacific Northwest sky last week crashed on a farm in eastern Washington state, authorities said.
After the March 25 event, a farmer discovered a nearly intact piece of rocket in a private field, The Tri-City Herald reported.
The approximately 1.52m composite-overwrapped pressure vessel used for storing helium left a nearly 10cm dent in the ground, Grant County sheriff’s spokesman, Kyle Foreman, said. No one was hurt, he added.
The National Weather Service in Seattle has said the widely reported bright objects in the sky on March 25 were remnants of the second stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket leaving comet-like trails as they burned up upon re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere.
The farmer, who authorities said didn’t want to be identified, suspected the debris may have come from the rocket and left a message with the sheriff’s office over the weekend, Foreman said. Deputies responded Monday and contacted SpaceX officials. SpaceX confirmed it was part of the rocket and has since retrieved it, Foreman said.
It’s not the first time rocket debris has rained on US soil. The same situation occurred after a test flight of SpaceX’s Starship prototype on Tuesday. As it got closer to the ground, the rocket was supposed to reignite its engines to flip upright and land gently, as Insider previously reported. Instead, its onboard cameras froze after the engine ignition sequence.
The Falcon 9 is a reusable two-stage rocket designed by SpaceX to transport people and payloads into the Earth’s orbit and beyond, according to SpaceX. There have been 111 launches and 71 landings, according to the company.
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