Piece of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket found at Washington Field

The Falcon 9 rocket part.

The Falcon 9 rocket part.
Image: Grant County Sheriff’s Office

The failed ofThe orbit of a SpaceX Falcon 9 second stage late last month produced a spectacular light show over the Pacific Northwest, but the incident caused a large portion of the rocket to crash into a farmer’s field.

The second stage was supposed to burn over the Pacific Ocean, away from populated areas, but a failed desorbit burn resulted in an uncontrolled reentry on March 26, 2021.

Dramatic video footage taken from the ground showed glowing debris fragments breaking through the sky around 9:00 p.m. local time, as the upper component of the rocket burned and disintegrated over the west coast of the United States.

The failed deorbit occurred about three weeks after the rocket’s launch, in which a Falcon 9 successfully deposited 60 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit. The first stage managed to land on a drone shortly after launch from Kennedy Space Center on March 4.

SpaceX has been strangely silent on the whole thing. Tthe Tri-City Herald now reports that a charred piece from the second stage crashed into a farmer’s field in Washington state. The the remainder appears to be a composite-wrapped pressure vessel, or COPV, which is designed to transport fluids, such as super-cold helium, under pressure.

Kyle Foreman of the Grant County Sheriff’s Office told the Tri-City Herald that the tank left a 4 inch dent in the ground. SpaceX, after being contacted by agents from the sheriff’s office, arrived on the scene to collect their trash.

“SpaceX recovered a composite-coated pressure vessel from the Falcon 9’s re-entry last week,” tweeted Grant County Sheriff. “It was found on private property in southwest Grant County this week. Treasure Seekers & Media: We are not disclosing details. “

To which the sheriff’s office added: “The property owner just wants to be left alone.”

As for what went wrong during the out-of-orbit, “there was not enough propellant after this launch to ignite the Merlin engine and complete combustion,” so the “propellant was ejected into space,” causing the ” uncontrolled re-entry into the atmosphere “. , “ Eric Berger reported at Ars Technica.

A similar event occurred in 2014, when an apparent COPV from a Falcon 9 landed in Brazil. It is fortunate that no one was injured in these incidents, which fortunately is it so weird. To date, SpaceX has completed 111 Falcon 9 launches, including 71 first-stage landings and 54 missions involving reflux rockets.


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