Suspected debris from SpaceX capsule crashes into farmland in Australia | Science & Tech News

Part of what is suspected to be a SpaceX capsule has crashed into farmland in Australia, according to farmers and an astrophysicist.

After being startled by a bang at about 7am on Saturday, two farmers discovered what seemed to be space equipment scattered across their sheep paddocks.

Sheep farmer Jock Wallace initially called Australia’s civil aviation authority for guidance, but they advised him to contact NASA.

“I’m a farmer from Dalgety, what am I going to say to NASA?” he told ABC.

Mr Wallace and his neighbour Mick Miners turned to Dr Brad Tucker, an astrophysicist at the Australian National University, for help.

Dr Tucker told Sky News that he explained to the farmers why he believed the artefacts came from a SpaceX capsule which had splashed down on Earth back in May.

Pic: Brad Tucker
Pic: Brad Tucker

“At 7am local time, the SpaceX Crew-1 Trunk, which is the unpressurised bottom part of the capsule, was catalogued and tracked to be re-entering over the southern parts of New South Wales in Australia,” explained Dr Tucker.

Appearing not unlike a monolith from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the space junk is almost three metres high and was found wedged upright into the ground.

According to astronomer Jonathan McDowell, the small town of Dalgety in New South Wales – where it was found – is almost perfectly aligned with the re-entry path of this trunk.

SpaceX did not respond to a Sky News request for a statement regarding whether the space junk was something it had left orbiting the planet.

Dr Tucker said: “At that time, people across the area heard a sonic boom as the trunk entered the atmosphere. People also saw it breaking apart, characteristic of space junk.

“After inspection, you can see scorching patterns,” said Dr Tucker, who added that the object’s “composition matches that of space equipment”.

“The parts can also be roughly visually matched to pictures and parts of the trunk,” he added.

Pic: Brad Tucker
Pic: Brad Tucker

The material fortunately hit the Earth a long distance away from both of the farmers’ residential property and livestock.

The re-entry of space junk is a controversial topic, with the US and China exchanging barbed criticisms over the uncontrolled re-entry of China’s Long March-5B booster this weekend.

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