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The space shuttle gets lost.  Farmers find SpaceX space junk in sheep pastures.

The space shuttle gets lost. Farmers find SpaceX space junk in sheep pastures.

SpaceX space junk landed in Australia

Story: About 500 kilometers south of Sydney, Australian sheep farmers were astonished to discover near the town of Dalghty. Because, as confirmed by the Australian Space Agency on Wednesday, this strangely collided object is, among other things, space debris that has fallen to Earth. More precisely: these are parts of the SpaceX Dragon capsule. Observers at the site estimated that the part was about three meters long and weighed about 20 to 30 kilograms. The wreckage was discovered weeks ago. But only now the origin of this discovery has been confirmed. Experts assume that more parts may end up on the ground in the coming weeks. Residents were asked to report this if necessary. The private space company, SpaceX, was founded by billionaire Elon Musk. He is considered one of the richest people in the world and supports the US space agency NASA with his company.


The remains of a SpaceX spacecraft have fallen into a sheep pasture in Australia. Nearly a ton of space debris crashed to Earth.

The remains of a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule that was sent to the International Space Station in November 2020 crashed into a sheep pasture in the snowy mountains of New South Wales, Australia, according to the Australian Space Agency. communication. Neither the sheep nor the people were injured.

The fragments appear to have crashed in a remote area on July 9 and are gradually being discovered. Some parts are up to three meters long, and their total mass is about one ton. At first its origin was unclear. After Schafbauer Jock Wallace discovered a piece of junk space on his property, he contacted the Australian Aviation Authority.

But this was referred only to the US space agency NASA. Wallace replied, “I’m a farmer from Daleji, what should I tell NASA?” Astrophysicist Brad Tucker of the Australian National University in the capital Canberra looked at and identified the likely fragments from SpaceX, which the company has now confirmed.

Sheep breeders Jock Wallace (left) and Mike Miners (right) with astrophysicist Brad Tucker (center) and SpaceX trash.

Brad Tucker

space shuttle trunk

In addition to the cabin, the Crew Dragon capsule also consists of a “trunk”, which is a kind of torso. Goods are usually transported in this oxygen-free zone. Before returning to Earth, the torso is detached and the cabin travels with the astronauts alone.

The Mission Crew-1 capsule left the International Space Station on May 1, 2011. The severed stump then circled the Earth over the past year until gravity finally returned it to Earth – in this case, an Australian sheep pasture.

A popular space debris destination in Australia

It’s unclear what will happen to space debris. According to the 1968 Space Rescue Agreement, found parts of spaceships must be returned to the country of origin, in this case the United States of America. Presumably, SpaceX will pick up its trash.

Australia has repeatedly learned about American space debris. In 1979, the much larger Skylab remnant, which predated the International Space Station, crashed over the west of the country. Recently, there have been concerns about the remains of the Chinese Long March 5B missile. Most of them fell into the Indian and Pacific Oceans, although some parts also ended up in Malaysia and Indonesia.