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SpaceX rocket fragments land on Washington man’s farm



The local sheriff’s office said on Friday that a pressure vessel from the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrier fell on a man’s farm in Washington State last week, “leaving a 4-inch dent in the soil.”

Local officials said that the black composite package pressure vessel (COPV) was the remains of the second phase of the Falcon 9 over Oregon and Washington on March 26 when it appeared to be broken after an alien invasion. After putting the payload of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite into orbit, the stage re-entered the anomalous area in the sky.

A property owner in Grant County, Washington, told the authorities that he did not want to be discovered. He found the wrong COPV (about the size and shape of a heavy sandbag) sitting on his farm one morning last weekend. GCSO spokesperson Kyle Foreman said on the phone that he had reported it to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. A sergeant was sent for inspection on Monday.

“Of course, neither the property owner nor our sergeant are rocket scientists, but from what happened a few days ago, they look like fragments of the Falcon 9 reentry plane,” Foreman said. Therefore, the sergeant named SpaceX confirmed to GCSO that it appeared to be theirs and dispatched an employee to retrieve the COPV on Tuesday. SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment.

COPV left a neat, COPV-shaped dent in the man’s farm.
Photo: Grant County Sheriff’s Office

“Of course, we didn’t have an agreement for this, so we just made a mistake in returning someone’s property to them,” Foreman said.

COPV is part of the second phase of Falcon 9, which is a smaller part of the rocket that separates from the main phase at the edge of space and launches satellites further away from the earth. COPV stores helium at a pressure close to 6,000 psi, which is used to pressurize the large propellant storage tanks of the second stage.

Although most parts of the second phase have either spent years in orbit or re-enter the Earth’s oceans, last week’s phase performed a spectacular night show in a densely populated area of ​​the northwestern United States. It can be seen from that show that COPV was finally embedded in the owner’s farmland about 4 inches, about 100 miles from the Pacific coast.

Jonathan McDowell (Jonathan McDowell) is an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a keen tracker of things in space. He has been paying close attention to the second stage and said Entrance is not surprising-but the time and place of reentry is the head catcher.

McDowell said: “It is confusing that the platform did not have runaway orbital control on March 4-it seemed that something went wrong, but SpaceX didn’t say anything about it.” “But, this kind of return. It happens every two weeks. It’s unusual for it to happen in densely populated areas, just because it’s only a small part of the earth.”

In recent weeks, Washington’s COPV has not been the only piece of debris that has fallen on American soil. On Tuesday, when a prototype of the spacecraft exploded in the air when the spacecraft was trying to land, an absolute storm swept SpaceX’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas, marking the swift spacecraft test carried out by Elon Musk. During the event, the Mars rocket prototype exploded for the fourth consecutive time. This 16-story test rocket successfully flew six miles in the air, but returned completely failed, and resulted in the loss of all test data during the mission.




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