Toasted Falcon 9 Piece Ends Up on Washington State Farm
People in the Pacific Northwest last week were privy to a nighttime sky light show when one piece from a Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket was broken off and headed to a farm in Grant County. The news, reported by the Tri-City Herald, made headlines when the Grant County Sheriff confirmed that the broken debris was indeed from the rocket.
SpaceX recovered a Composite-Overwrapped Pressure Vessel from last week’s Falcon 9 re-entry. It was found on private property in southwest Grant County this week. Media and treasure hunters: we are not disclosing specifics. The property owner simply wants to be left alone. pic.twitter.com/dEIQAotItY— Grant County Sheriff (@GrantCoSheriff) April 2, 2021
The accident occurred after pieces of the second stage of the SpaceX rocket ignited in the atmosphere after an unsuccessful deorbit burn. The rocket was supposed to fire its engines so it could reenter the Earth’s atmosphere but instead, it burned up.
Normally, none of the pieces were supposed to land in the area. However, a farmer soon discovered a composite-overwrapped pressure vessel in one of his fields. The Sheriff's office tweeted that the "property owner wants to be left alone" which means there were no comments from him.
The Tri-City Herald did, however, share that the debris left a nearly 4-inch (10 cm) dent in the ground and that the farmer who suspected it may have come from the rocket reached out to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies then reached out to SpaceX officials who came to retrieve it, confirming it was indeed a missing piece of their rocket. Interesting choice from the farmer to not want attention though, not everyone would handle such a thing happening on their property the same way.
Watching NASA's spacecraft impact an asteroid was "exciting beyond words," Dr. Tom Statler told IE in an interview.