SpaceX debris lands on Australian farm

SpaceX debris lands on Australian farm |

Video transcript

- Hey, it's Dr. [? Brad. ?] And I've just returned from a trip out to a farm in rural New South Wales, in a town called Dalgety, where it is believed that a farmer has found a piece of space junk from a SpaceX Crew-1 trunk.

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Where we've ended up is super remote. There is nothing around it. In fact, just the paddock itself is hundreds of acres in size. So it's easy to not see this piece of junk from a distance.

So I get lots of reports of space junk. And it's very, actually, usually easy to rule out. What made this one special was the SpaceX Crew-1 trunk was a catalogue object. And it was cataloged known to be going over New South Wales, in Australia, and reentering around 7:00 AM, 7:05 AM on Saturday, 9 July. Now, on that time, people heard and saw it. So people heard the sonic boom of it re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. And people saw the bright light and bits breaking off of the object fragmenting as intended.

So we had a piece of junk that was cataloged over the area, both seen and heard around the right time.

[INAUDIBLE], what day did you find it?

- Monday.

- OK, OK.

- So this is a while after this thing happened--

- It did. Yeah, so it happened on Saturday the 9th.

- Yeah, it was direct. Once we get down here to the next gate, you'll be able to-- well, I can see it because I know where it is. [INAUDIBLE]

Yeah, he's coming now, but he must have dropped that here before because it wan't injured.

- So this is the piece that landed on--

- On [INAUDIBLE].

- [INAUDIBLE], yeah, OK. And you said so that's kind of-- oh, here he is.

- There he is. Yeah, so this is a bit [INAUDIBLE].

- So as you get up close, you can kind of see really subtle detail in all the features. You can see some-- the scarring already on this panel. This is due to the reheat re-entry. You can start to see cabling. So this is a carbon mesh. And what it's doing is to insulate both around any cabling and any wires. Keeping in mind, this house must stand intense heat.

Now, firstly, some people think this stuff is radioactive, but it's not. Yes, there is radiation in space. Things don't come back radioactive all of the sudden. And it's also been out in the weather, the rain, the wind, for a couple of weeks. So any loose potentially harmful bits may have blown and washed off.

And so we think this is a fin. This is a part of the fin of the trunk that has now speared itself into the ground, and it's about 3 meters tall. We think it weighs about 20 to 30 kilograms. Obviously, we haven't dug it out of the ground.

So here, we have some clear paneling that is designed for insulation and heat resistance. You can see part of it's melted, but the crack inside shows what it's like. This is triangular in shape so we're looking at one of the other pieces, some of the bolting and the manufacturing. And you can kind of see the angle that it's wedged at in some of the insulation.

Experts have checked out to make sure all the material is safe and isn't a danger to anyone. This big piece is the one that wedged itself onto Mick's farm, and Jock brought his piece over from the farm next door. And as you said, yeah, the serial number is kind of helpful.

Yeah, even-- this has been super exciting to see this all up close look I've never seen a piece of space junk fall This is an extremely rare event. And it was super exciting to be out there to help verify and confirm it.

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