Space junk from Elon Musk's SpaceX crashes down on Australian farmlandtext_fields
SYDNEY: A charred piece of space junk found by an Australian sheep farmer in a field was part of one of Elon Musk's SpaceX missions, authorities confirmed Thursday.
The ethereal-looking wreckage, believed to have hit Earth on July 9, was found last week in Dalgety, a remote area near Australia's Snowy Mountains, about a five-hour drive southwest of Sydney.
Brad Tucker, the astrophysicist who visited the site last month after a call from the local farmers said, "It was kind of exciting and weird all in the same way".
He said finding the large piece embedded in a deserted field reminded him of the sci-fi movie "2001: A Space Odyssey."
"It's astounding to see it."
Australia's space agency confirmed in a statement that the debris came from one of Musk's missions and told local residents to report any further findings to SpaceX.
"The Agency has confirmed the debris is from a SpaceX mission and continues to engage with our counterparts in the US, as well as other parts of the Commonwealth and local authorities as appropriate," an Australian Space Agency spokesman said.
Tucker said the piece is part of the trunk jettisoned from the previous Crew-1 capsule upon re-entering the Earth's atmosphere in 2021, AFP reported.
He said the trunk split up on re-entry, and reports of other space debris were discovered on the properties nearby, making it likely to discover more space junk related to the SpaceX mission.
Most space debris ends up in the ocean, but as space industries around the world expand, the amount hitting Earth will increase, he added.
"We do have to realise that there is a likely risk it may hit in a populated area once and what that means."
Australia's Space Agency said efforts were being made to mitigate the debris and the matter had been raised internationally.