A 9.8ft piece of space debris from Elon Musk’s spacecraft crashed into a farmer’s property in New South Wales, Australia at around 15,534 mph.
The object – which was part of the SpaceX Crew-1 craft – was found in a sheep pen by a farmer living on a large property in the Snowy Mountains.
Farmer Mick Miners said he discovered the space junk, which looked like a tree from afar, after his family heard a loud bang.
The bang was also reportedly heard by residents of southern New South Wales, with some claiming to have seen an explosion.
Neighboring farmer Jock Wallace also reported a similar foreign object torpedoing his land.
Luckily for the two farmers, the space junk – which came from one of the craft’s fins – was a good distance from their homes.
After an investigation, Australian National University space expert Brad Tucker was called by authorities to inspect the object.
“It’s most definitely space junk that was part of the trunk of SpaceX Crew-1,” he told Ben Fordham on the radio on Monday.
“SpaceX has this capsule that takes humans into space, but there’s a lower part…so when the astronauts come back, they leave the lower part in space before the capsule lands.”
The spacecraft, which costs $62 million per launch, has begun to de-orbit after nearly two years in space.
Tucker said the craft was originally supposed to break up and land in the ocean.
“We saw most of the pieces land in the ocean, but clearly some didn’t because this 9.8-foot piece was blasted into the ground from space,” Tucker said. .
“In the photographs of the debris you can clearly see the charring, which is what you would expect from a re-entry (into the atmosphere). It’s very rare to see any because they usually don’t land on land but in the atmosphere. People often think they find small pieces of space junk, but they would burn up on re-entry, so it’s more likely to be big pieces like this.
The spacecraft, which is a stainless steel rocket, was over 164 feet tall.
SpaceX is an American aerospace company founded in 2002 by Musk that helped usher in the era of commercial spaceflight.