Debris from SpaceX Rocket Launch on 4th March Ends Up on a Farm in Washington

22nd Apr 2021
Debris from SpaceX Rocket Launch on 4th March Ends Up on a Farm in Washington

Debris from the latest SpaceX rocket launch wound up on a farm in central Washington. The local authorities have not given the farmer’s name, as the owners chose to remain anonymous. SpaceX, too, has not given any official comment so far. Still, some facts have already been established.

Details on Debris Crash from SpaceX rocket launch

On 2nd April, authorities reported falling rocket debris in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. One of those rocket components landed on someone’s farm. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office believes that the fallen component is a composite overwrapped pressure vessel, aka COPV. They believe that the COPV is part of Falcon9’s second stage. This vital second-stage part is used to store helium to pressurize propellant fuel for the first rocket stage.

The latest Falcon9 mission, Starlink17, took place on 4th March at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Usually, when the rocket second stage – the smaller, upper part of the Falcon9 rocket – completes its task, the stage is manually destroyed. Alternatively, SpaceX may let it linger in the atmosphere for a while longer because the stage should burn out in the atmosphere’s upper layers on its way down to the Pacific Ocean.

However, the latest SpaceX rocket launch proved those calculations wrong as second-stage debris wound up on Central Washington’s private property. Technicians believe that the upper stage had too much propellant during the latest launch. As a result, this propellant vented into space and took the rocket off its original trajectory.

As a result, the rocket did not burn over the ocean but made its way closer to land. On 25th March, Pacific Northwest locals observed a series of fiery eruptions in the air. The explosion was visible not only from Central Washington, where the COPV ended up but also in surrounding states and even Canada.

The uncovered debris from the SpaceX rocket launch is one and a half meters long, which is large enough to make an impact on landing. According to NBC News, the hit-mark is 10-13 centimeters deep.

Even though the news has been out there for some time, there is still no official comment on the latest SpaceX rocket launch or the debris that landed after it.

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