Possible SpaceX Debris Falls on Canadian Farm - Latest Global News

Possible SpaceX Debris Falls on Canadian Farm

It’s raining space junk. Just a month after NASA admitted that a piece of trash thrown from the International Space Station (ISS) crashed through a home in Florida, a huge piece of space junk landed on a farm in Canada.

A farmer in Saskatchewan, Canada, discovered an 88-pound (40-kilogram) piece of charred metal in his fields and suspected it was space debris from the multiple layers of burned composite fibers and webbing, CBC reported. “But I had no idea. I don’t build spaceships for a living. I farm,” Barry Sawchuk told CBC.

Local reports of the possible space debris reached a group of astronomy professors, who attributed the burned fragments to the re-entry of a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft in February. The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft undocked from the ISS over the Pacific Ocean west of Ecuador on February 7 and returned a crew of astronauts to Earth on February 9 after a water disaster off the coast of Daytona, Florida.

The spacecraft consists of a reusable crew capsule and an expendable fuselage module, which is jettisoned prior to Dragon’s reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere and allowed to reenter on its own. The fuselage module, which was discarded before the re-entry of the Axiom 3 mission crew in February, may have ended up at the Canadian farm.

This isn’t the first time suspected SpaceX debris has landed in a populated location. In July 2022, another charred piece of metal landed on farmland in Australiaand it was also suspected that it came from SpaceX’s Dragon Trunk module.

As the space industry continues to grow, the risk of being struck by a falling part of a spacecraft also increases. On average, 200 to 400 human-made objects re-enter Earth’s atmosphere each year, and space agencies generally assume a 1 in 10,000 probability threshold for the accident risk of a single uncontrolled re-entry, the study found ESA.

In early April, NASA admitted that part of a pallet of old batteries was thrown from the ISS in March 2021 crashed through a house in Florida. The space agency seized the cylinder-shaped piece for analysis, but it’s not clear whether SpaceX will do the same Fear of liability.

Canadian farmer Sawchuk doesn’t seem too worried about it. He plans to sell the piece of space junk and donate some of the profits to help build a hockey rink in Saskatchewan, Sawchuk told CBC. That’s one way to deal with it.

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