SpaceX Rocket Debris Discovered Off British Coast Half A Year Later

Posted: Nov 28 2015, 2:45am CST | by , Updated: Nov 28 2015, 12:25pm CST, in News | Latest Science News


SpaceX Rocket Debris Discovered off British Coast
Credit: Matt Pengelly

SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 was launched earlier this year from Florida and it blew up shortly after the take off.

A massive chunk of SpaceX rocket has been found floating off a remote island in the UK.

The piece of debris is measured at 32 feet by 13 feet and is covered with the U.S. flag, suggesting it may be the part of unmanned rocket called Falcon 9 which was launched from Florida earlier this year and was exploded shortly after the take off. 

The remains of the rocket have been recovered almost half a year later and thousands of miles away from the spot where it lifted off. 

According to UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency the debris was spotted floating in the waters between Bryher and Tresco in the Isles of Scilly on Thursday afternoon. Isles of Scilly are a small archipelago in the southwest tip of the British mainland and the wreckage was dragged ashore with the help of local boatmen.

“It was pretty shocking to scrape the barnacles off and then find out it was a rocket ship.” Joseph Thomas from Tresco Boat Services told BBC.

“There were lot of gulls on the water and I though initially it was a dead whale and the birds were feeding off it. It was too heavy for us to tow."

Martin Leslie, a spokesman from coastguard said. “The markings show an American flag. It looks like it’s an American rocket and seems most likely to be the unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 which blew up shortly after takeoff from Cape Canaveral on June.”

British coastguards are convinced but many astronomers believe that the junk is from a different space mission.

“All the geeks have been getting together and looking at fine details, and we’re pretty sure it’s a launch from September 2014 that successfully sent a cargo mission to the space station,” said Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. 

“It didn’t look like an exploded rocket to me, it looked like a fairly normal piece of space junk when a lower stage of a rocket falls from hundred miles up and hits the ocean. Large sections remain intact and it’s really quite normal.”

Falcon 9 was designed and manufactured by SpaceX, a private aerospace company of Elon Musk. The rocket was carrying 4,000 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station but blew up in the air.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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