Possible SpaceX junk from Crew-1 Dragon spacecraft falls on ship farm in NSW & More Breaking News

Sheep farmers in Australia discovered a massive chunk of rocket debris near a paddock in the mountainous valley of southern New South Wales (NSW). According to the ABC South-East NSW channel, the experts were speculating that the charred piece of space waste was from a SpaceX Dragon craft that re-entered Earth on July 9 and crashed with a loud bang rattling people in Albury, Wagga Wagga, and Canberra. A local farmer rushed to the spot when he spotted a burnt object, nearly 3 meters high wedged on the ground.

“Not know what to think. I had no idea what it was,” the farmer told ABC News.

In a Twitter post astrophysicist, Brad Tucker from the Australian National University College of Science documented that the broken-off parts “crashed into a few paddocks” in Dalgety could be from the SpaceX Crew-1 Trunk capsule launched in November 2020. Speaking to the Australian publication, Tucker informed that the ‘possible’ unpressurised crew trunk of the SpaceX craft is the largest recorded space junk that plummeted in Australia since 1979. “In photographs of the debris you can clearly see charring, which you could expect from re-entry,” Tucker said, adding the visual is usually rare since such space waste is supposed to land in oceans mostly. 

What is space debris?

Space debris is often known as space junk, space pollution, or space waste, usually made of defunct broken pieces from rockets or spacecraft, man-made orbital garbage. Although, it could also be natural substances like disintegrated meteoroids or other heavenly bodies. It is important to mention that following an ascension of a rocket, the pieces separate to reduce the payload and the defunct parts return to the Earth with momentum. The fragments often burn up due to friction with Earth’s atmosphere. However, they do not mostly land on the ground but in oceans instead.

Chinese rocket junk splashes into Indian Ocean

The incident in Australia took place days before Chinese rocket junk disintegrated in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday, the US Space Command informed that a Chinese Long March 5B rocket, which took up the second main module for their new Tiangong Space Station, made an “uncontrolled” return to Earth. Parts of the 23-tonne, 50-meter-long rocket booster also splashed in the Pacific Ocean near the island of Palawan in the East Philippines. The unruly landing happened as most Chinese rockets launched from the unfinished space station of Tiangong lack such advanced facilities, BBC reported.

Space observers recorded videos of the lit Chinese rocket debris re-entering the surface. Meanwhile, Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Bill Nelson slammed China for its irresponsible space junk deposit. He claimed the PRC did not “share specific trajectory information as their Long March 5B fell back to Earth.” Dr. Nelson added, “All spacefaring nations should follow established best practices, and do their part to share this type of information in advance to allow reliable predictions of potential debris impact risk, especially for heavy-lift vehicles, like the Long March 5B, which carry a significant risk of loss of life and property. Doing so is critical to the responsible use of space and to ensure the safety of people here on Earth.”

(Image: @BradTucker/Twitter/Unsplash)

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