Remains of a SpaceX rocket fall on an Australian farm

In this case, the astrophysicist found conspicuous burn marks from reentry on large metal parts. they also had serial numbers, which have been sent to the US Federal Aviation Administration for transmission to SpaceX, who has not commented at this time. “If it’s from SpaceX, the first question is do they want it back,” Tucker told IFLScience.

If they wanted to recover the remains, the cost of the recovery would be borne by SpaceX. If they were not interested in recovering them, the moral duty would be to pay the farmers for cleaning. However, it is difficult to achieve this. As an example, the county of Esperance famously sent NASA a littering bill when parts of the Skylab space station crashed on their turf in 1979, but to no avail. The Australian government refused to provoke an international incident by demanding payment, although some patriotic Americans financed the cost 30 years later.

The payment for the removal of the rubble does not concern the farmers and it is that they affirm that there are already people interested in buying the parts. So the removal of the pieces could be more than covered. Other discoveries could lower the fee farmers charge, but even with two additional pieces reported farther west, space debris on their property appears to be more of a windfall than a burden.

The remains found would be part of the rocket that was launched in November 2020 in a historic release, being the first privately owned to carry astronauts to the International Space Station. During that flight, upon reaching space, part of the ship broke away. This occurs to lighten the weight of items that will no longer be needed on the flight. The fault is that it fell on land and not in the ocean, as usually happens.

This time the falling debris has not caused fatalities, but as pointed out by a study recently published in Nature Astronomy, the risk that in the next 10 years that space debris will fall on us and kill us is small but significant. The researchers estimate that there is a 10% chance of this happening. And that pulling low, since the trend points to private initiative launching more rockets in the years to come. This increase in launches is likely to lead to an increase in the number of accidents, both in space and on Earth.

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