A large chunk of SpaceX Falcon 9, Elon Musk’s doomed rocked which blew up after lift-off, has been found in sea off the Isles of Scilly. Coastguards believe the large piece of debris, measuring 32ft (10m) by 13ft (4m) is from the unmanned rocked that crashed into the sea after lifting off from Cape Canaveral in Florida in June, 2015.
The chunk of SpaceX Falcon 9 was spotted floating on the surface of the sea between Bryher and Tresco – two islands that form part of the archipelago off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain.
It was towed by local boatmen to Tresco, where it is currently on the beach under guard.
A large chunk of the rocket with the US flag clearly visible. (Image: Maritime Coastguard Agency)
Coastguard issued a warning to all shipping
After the spaceship debris was discovered on Thursday afternoon, coastguards have issued a warning to all ships in the area to be on the lookout.
Martin Leslie, coastal area commander for the coastguard, said:
“The markings show an American flag. It looks like it’s an American rocket and seems most likely to be the unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 which blew up shortly after take-off from Cape Canaveral in June.”
“We’re grateful for all those who helped in its recovery, it was a great example of the community working together.”
Rocket blew up due to an ‘overpressure event’
SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off from Florida on June 28th, 2015, and disintegrated 2 minutes and 19 seconds after launch, resulting in the total loss of the rocket, which was in the process of sending the Dragon vehicle and a cargo ship to ISS (International Space Station).
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft broke apart soon after liftoff at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Sunday, June 28, 2015.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, said it was due to an ‘overpressure event’ in the upper stage’s liquid oxygen tank – however, this cause was never confirmed.
June’s failed mission for Falcon 9 had followed 17 successful launches. Falcon 9 Flight 20 is scheduled for launch in December 2015.
Video – SpaceX Falcon 9 blows up after liftoff
This USA Today video shows the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifting off from Cape Canaveral in Florida and then exploding a couple of minutes later.