Space Junk Found On Australian Farms Suspected To Be From SpaceX

Space Junk Found On Australian Farms Suspected To Be From SpaceX


Three big hunks of space junk have been found in rural Australia, suspected to be detritus from a SpaceX mission launched in 2020. Now it's time for the less exciting part of space exploration: the cleanup.

The unidentified fallen objects were found between July 14 and 25, scattered across the Snowy Mountains region of the state of New South Wales.

The latest piece, discovered by sheep farmer Mick Miners, stands nearly 10 feet tall and is firmly embedded in a paddock by one end.

Understandably, Miners was initially baffled by his unexpected find. His neighbour Jock Wallace, who also found some debris, was told by Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority to talk to NASA about it.

"I'm a farmer from Dalgety, what am I going to say to NASA?" Wallace asked Australia's ABC News. Dalgety is a small town by the Snowy River, with a population of 252.

The Australian Space Agency is working with the U.S. to determine exactly what the chunks of metal are and who they belong to.

SpaceX's Crew-1 flight transported four astronauts to the International Space Station in November 2020, successfully conducting the company's first operational crewed mission.

The same capsule subsequently returned them to Earth in early May last year, with jettisoned debris from the mission expected to reenter the atmosphere approximately two months later.

As noted by astronomer Jonathan McDowell, Dalgety is near the Dragon's July 8 re-entry path

Though this particular piece of plummeting death landed in an empty field, a recent study found there's a one in 10 chance somebody will be killed by falling space debris within the next 10 years

SpaceX hasn't yet acknowledged or claimed its alleged space litter. Yet even if CEO Elon Musk continues to pretend he does not see it, he may not necessarily have to pick up after himself.