The latest discovery of debris from a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft that returned to Earth early last month is the fourth to turn up in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.
The piece of debris was found in the state's Snowy Mountains, near Tumbarumba, after locals found two bits near Dalgety and another near Jindabyne over the last month and a half. The various pieces of space debris have been discovered following a loud bang that residents heard in the region on July 9th, 2022, associated with the Crew Dragon spacecraft re-entering Earth's atmosphere.
The latest piece, found on August 13th by cattle farmer Jordan Hobbs on his land, is believed to belong to the same spacecraft as the other pieces of space debris found in the region, which the Australian Space Agency later confirmed to be of SpaceX origin. Australian National University (ANU) researcher Dr. Brad Tucker was called by Hobbs to investigate the new piece after he examined the previously discovered debris in the region.
SpaceX sent a team to investigate the appearance of debris across the region, with their visit reportedly taking place on August 10th. However, neither SpaceX nor the Australian Space Agency has revealed further details regarding the result of the trip. According to Dr. Tucker, "it seems definite again that we have now a fourth confirmed piece of space junk from that SpaceX one crew trunk. It forms a perfect line, which is in line also with the trajectory of that capsule."
"There are more pieces that are going to be found probably further east. Are any of them going to be found, or are they going to be up there for years to come? We don't yet know that," Dr. Tucker continued.
"Lucky I wear a cowboy hat, but I am considering wearing a motorcycle helmet. We haven't slept for the past week because we don't know what's going to hit the roof or fall through it," said Hobbs.