The atmospheric re-entry and breakup of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket upper stage created a fiery display in the skies above the Pacific Northwest a week ago, but not all of those shooting stars burned up on the way down.
At least one big piece of the rocket — a roughly 5-foot-long composite-overwrapped pressure vessel — fell onto private property in southwest Grant County in Central Washington, the county sheriff’s office reported today in a tweet.
Kyle Foreman, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, told GeekWire that the property owner left a message reporting the debris last weekend. Based on the reports about March 25’s meteor show, SpaceX’s rocket re-entry loomed as the likeliest cause for the commotion.
“The sheriff’s office checked it out on Monday, and SpaceX staff came over on Tuesday and retrieved it,” Foreman said.
He was unaware of any other reports of fallen rocket debris — and in its tweet, the sheriff’s office made clear that it considered the case closed. “Media and treasure hunters: we are not disclosing specifics,” it said. “The property owner simply wants to be left alone.”