Wreckage of the Crew Dragon spacecraft fell on a farm

Just a month after NASA admitted that a fragment of debris from the International Space Station (ISS) fell on a house in Florida, a new incident occurred in Canada. Another massive fragment of space debris fell on a farm in the province of Saskatchewan. 

Farmer Barry Sawchuk from Canada found a 40-kilogram fragment of space debris on his land. He plans to sell it to donate part of the profits to build a hockey rink. Photo: CBC

Farmer Barry Sawchuk found a heavy charred metal weighing 40 kg in his field. At first, the find did not seem strange to the farmer. But after a detailed inspection, he noticed numerous layers of burnt composite fibers and tapes. “I don’t build spacecraft, I’m a farmer,” Sawchuk said in an interview with CBC.

It is believed that this debris is part of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft that crashed on a farm in Saskatchewan. Photo: CBC

Information about possible space debris reached a group of astronomy professors, who determined that the burned fragments belonged to the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. It undocked from the ISS over the Pacific Ocean west of Ecuador on February 7, when the crew of the Axiom-3 mission was returning to Earth in it. The main module dropped before entering the atmosphere is probably the object that fell on the farm.

This is not the first time that SpaceX debris has ended up on Earth. In July 2022, a similar charred fragment of metal was found on a farm in Australia, and it was also associated with the Dragon module.

Risks increase

The development of the space industry increases the risks of falling space debris. According to ESA, between 200 and 400 objects return to the Earth’s atmosphere every year. Scientists have estimated that now the risk of human casualties from uncontrolled falling debris from space has increased and is already 1 in 10,000.

In April, NASA admitted that a piece of a pallet with old batteries, thrown from the ISS in 2021, broke through the roof of a house in Florida. The Aerospace Administration confiscated the fragment for analysis, but it is unclear whether SpaceX will do the same due to fears of liability.

Barry Sawchuk doesn’t seem too concerned about the incident. He plans to sell a piece of space debris and donate part of the profits to build a hockey rink in Saskatchewan. This is one way to solve the problem.

Earlier, we reported on how NASA openly talked about a dangerous incident in orbit.

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