Part Of Rocket Found Off Tresco
Part of an American rocket, used to deliver satellites into space, has been found in the sea off Tresco.
The debris is thought to have come from the unmanned SpaceX Falcon-9 launcher.
A warning to shipping was issued yesterday afternoon, after the crew of the Voyager and the Hurricane reported the 10m x 4m curved, alloy object floating between Cromwell’s Castle and Hangman’s Island.
They tried to get a line on it to secure the debris, but couldn’t get near enough.
Joe Thomas contacted Pete Hicks and suggested that the Lyonesse Lady could help.
Pete says they managed to pin it alongside the boat with the crane and then towed it into new Grimsby for the Coastguard to undertake an inspection.
The debris was covered in goose barnacles but remnants of the US flag and some lettering and numbers have helped identify the find.
Pete says it is an interstage, the part that connects the main rockets to the payload and booster.
Some commentators have suggested this piece came from a rocket that exploded shortly after take off from Florida in June.
But James Druce from Tresco asked online SpaceX fans which of the twelve missions they thought this debris came from.
They suggested it was ‘CRS-4’, based on analysis of ocean currents, location of features on the interstage and even down to the design of a few bolts, all from the photos sent from the scene.
James says CRS-4 was launched in September 2014, and carried the first 3D printer in space, as well as 20 mice!
This discovery will be reported to US authorities to see what they want done with it. In the meantime, it is anchored on New Grimsby Beach this morning.