Probable debris from a SpaceX capsule discovered in Australia

New York
CNN Business

A rocket built by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has carried its fifth group of passengers to the edge of space, including the first-ever Mexican-born woman to make such a trip.

SpaceX did not return a request for comment and does not generally interact with the media.

Local media reported that at least three pieces of debris were recovered from the mountain range near Australia’s southernmost tip, and according to a statement from the Australian Space Agency, it “confirmed that the debris is from a SpaceX mission and continues to engage with our counterparts in the United States, as well as other parts of the Commonwealth and local authorities as appropriate.

According to NASA’s statement, SpaceX has also confirmed that the debris is likely part of the Dragon’s Chest. The trunk provides electricity and other necessary services to the main capsule during its stay in orbit, but is discarded when the main capsule passes through the thick upper atmosphere on its way back.

“The trunk segment…generally burns up in the atmosphere over the ocean, posing minimal risk to public safety,” according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration, which licenses and oversees spaceflight operations. commercial in the United States.

“In this case, it likely remained in orbit for more than a year and some material from the trunk survived to reach Earth,” the FAA statement said.

SpaceX operates two types of Dragon spacecraft: one that is designed solely to transport food, research and other supplies to the International Space Station, and another, called Crew Dragon, which is designed to transport astronauts. The remains of the Dragon’s trunk found in Australia were likely part of a spacecraft that brought four astronauts home from the ISS on May 2, 2021, according to NASA.

Crew-1 astronauts – consisting of NASA’s Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi, an astronaut from the Japanese space agency – made a safe return to the main part of the capsule, which crashed off the coast of Florida before being transported to safety by nearby salvage vessels last year.

Members of the public who believe they have found space debris can contact SpaceX’s recovery hotline at 1-866-623-0234 or [email protected]

Typically, discarded pieces of space hardware fall into a watery grave in the ocean. But they sometimes end up on the ground.

Last year, for example, what was believed to be a piece of the second stage of a SpaceX rocket – which powers the rocket after the lower first stage has used up all its fuel – landed on a farm in the Washington State.

SpaceX isn’t trying to salvage the second stage of its rockets, though it does land, refurbish and refly most of its first-stage boosters, which make up the bulk of the rocket and provide the initial liftoff boost. . Dragon capsules go into orbit atop the rockets.


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