Another piece of space debris believed to be from SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule has been discovered in the NSW Snowy Mountains.
The most recent fragment was discovered near Tumbarumba by cattle farmer Jordan Hobbs while feeding his cows on August 13.
“I thought it was rubbish, and I was going to throw it in the bin,” he said. “We made a bit of a joke that it could have been space junk.”
Mr Hobbs stated that he researched and concluded that the hoverboard-shaped section resembled other pieces discovered further east. That’s when he decided to seek assistance from Australian National University (ANU) astrophysicist Brad Tucker.
The farmer who discovered it, though, considered the situation amusing.
“Lucky I wear a cowboy hat, but I am considering wearing a motorcycle helmet,” Mr Hobbs said sarcastically. “We haven’t slept for the past week because we don’t know what’s going to hit the roof or fall through it.”
In August, the Australian Space Agency confirmed that the parts found up to that time belonged to a SpaceX mission. SpaceX then made its first official statement regarding the incident, announcing that a team would personally fly to Australia to inspect the debris.
However, for Brad Tucker, the discovery of numerous shards suggested a specific geographic pattern.
“It seems definite again that we have now a fourth confirmed piece of space junk from that SpaceX one crew trunk,” Dr Tucker said. “It forms a perfect line, which is in line also with the trajectory of that capsule.”
Dr Tucker speculated that there might be other fragments out there.
“There are more pieces that are going to be found probably further east,” he said. “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.”