Elon Musk's Flying SpaceX Debris Alarms Australian Sheep Farmer Who Found Particles Outside Near His Private Field

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Screenshot from public access article.Jack Connor/TweakTown

Imagine strolling through your private field only to discover the jettisoned, burnt-up trunk from a SpaceX mission had landed in your area. A Dalgety, Australia sheep farmer, approximately 5-hours southwest of Sydney, was astonished to discover rocket debris from Elon Musk's SpaceX mission had, in fact, landed in his field.

An astrophysicist from the Australian Space Agency stated that although most debris lands in the ocean due to the majority of the planet's surface area being water, the more players who join into space exploration, the more likely debris is to crash land on Earth. [i]

Australian officials are working closely with the US and issued the following statement,

The Agency has confirmed the debris is from a SpaceX mission and continues to engage with our counterpartws in the US, as well as other parts of the Commonwealth and local authorities as appropriate." [ii]

Reports indicate the piece "was part of a trunk jettisoned by the earlier Crew-1 capsule." NBC News posted a YouTube video giving an up-close view of the space debris. The debris pictured below is reported as "the part that connects the capsule to the Falcon 9 rocket while it ascends. One half of the trunk features a solar array ( as seen in the following photograph)." According to further information, this trunk is jettisoned before re-entry to Earth. [iii] [iv]

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Screenshot from public access article.Jack Connor/TweakTown

Similarly, debris from a Chinese rocket was also recently discovered after "space watchers had tracked the 23-ton rocket stage's path." Space watchers reported that the debris re-entered Earth's atmosphere just over the Indian Ocean. [v]

Despite the safe ending, NASA administrator Bill Nelson criticized China. The criticism was due to China not sharing "specific trajectory information as their Long March 5B rocket fell back to Earth." Still, the spike in monitoring debris entering Earth's atmosphere due to space expeditions highlights the increase in space exploration and potential for innovation. [v]

Although many Nations have begun funneling more significant amounts of funding into space exploration, there are conflicting opinions regarding the worth of space exploration. Some believe that the investment into space should be used for better causes, such as correcting issues already faced here on Earth. [vi]

Despite fears regarding astronomical costs or wasted funding, Kite & Key Media reports that less than 1% of the Nation's budget is allocated for space exploration, with most space funding coming from private sectors. [vi]

As the video illustrates, technology developed for space often becomes valuable in everyday use. Examples include cell phone cameras, GPS systems, technology for heart transplants, enriched baby formula, and even the tech used to clean up oil spills.

Additionally, NASA reports that the Perseids meteor shower can be expected between August 12 and 13. According to NASA, Perseids brings

One of the most vivid annual meteor showers visible in Earth's night sky, commonly delivering 50-100 "shooting stars" per hour at its height."[vii]

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Marcin Jucha/Adobe Stock

Before viewers get their hopes up, NASA has matter-of-factly predicted "the worst possible circumstances for spotters" because of the full Moon's brightness outshining the meteors, the number of viewable meteors per hour is projected to be reduced to around 10 - 20 per hour, optimistically. Those interested in viewing can visit Space.com to review how to see the Perseid meteor shower in 2022 and learn when the best time to watch will be [vii] [viii]

References

[i] Jack Connor, Officials confirm Elon Musk SpaceX rocket debris crashed in a field, (Aug. 5, 2022)

[ii] Phys.org, SpaceX debris discovered in Australian sheep paddock, (Aug. 4, 2022)

[iii] Id.

[iv] Jack Connor, Officials confirm Elon Musk SpaceX rocket debris crashed in a field, (Aug. 5, 2022)

[v] Kenneth Chang, Debris From Uncontrolled Chinese Rocket Falls Over Southeast Asian Seas, (Jul. 30, 2022)

[vi] Kite & Key Media, Is Space Exploration Worth It? (Jul. 26, 2022)

[vii] Rick Smith, Perseids Meteor Shower on the Way, (Aug. 1, 2022)

[viii] Sarah Lewin, Chelsea Gohd, Daisy Dobrijevic, Perseid meteor shower 2022: When, where & how to see it, (Aug. 1, 2022)

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Currently pursuing a Juris Doctor at Western State College of Law, freelance writer Charnell Gilchrist, a North Carolina native, now spends her free time writing in sunny Aliso Viejo, CA.

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