Toasted Falcon 9 Piece Ends Up on Washington State Farm

The debris was seen streaking across the Pacific Northwest sky last week.
Loukia Papadopoulos

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.

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.

Toasted Falcon 9 Piece Ends Up on Washington State Farm
Source: Grant County Sheriff/ Twitter

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.

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