Science

A big chunk of space junk which came crashing down in California identified

A big chunk of space junk which came crashing down in California identified

To his surprise, a farmer in Hanford, California found a piece of space junk while taking a casual stroll out to his walnut orchard. Amongst the trees, the farmer saw a large hunk of mangled metal, charred and scrapped as though it had been through hell.

Iridium, the satellite’s owner, confirmed that it was indeed a component of their spacecraft. To be more specific it was a piece of the defunct Iridium Satellite #70, which had been in the orbit for almost 20 years now. Like with all other satellites the spacecraft eventually reentered Earth’s atmosphere. It was expected to be completely destroyed but unfortunately it didn’t.

This rather large piece of the spacecraft somehow managed to survive the intense inferno and tumbled all the way down to a walnut orchard of a farmer. Iridium has several satellites in orbit that it uses for its massive communications network. This is however the first piece of one of the company’s spacecraft to have survived the reentry and it also got recovered. The fuel tank was handed over to Iridium.  They will examine it and try to find out out why it didn’t burn up in the atmosphere the way it should have had.

 

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