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Debris from SpaceX rocket re-entering atmosphere recovered in Grant County

A composite-overwrapped pressure vessel from a Falcon 9 rocket was recovered from a private property owner in southwest Grant County.

GRANT COUNTY, Wash. — Editor's note: The above video is from the previous reporting on rocket debris from the Falcon 9 causing streaking lights in the sky above the Puget Sound. 

Debris from a SpaceX rocket has been recovered in Grant County Friday, according to a tweet from Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones. 

Last week SpaceX debris caused a surprise light show over the Puget Sound and beyond as a Falcon 9 rocket burned up as it sped through the upper atmosphere. Long streaks of light appeared in the sky that could be seen from Seattle to Portland. 

The Grant County Sheriff's office recovered a composite-overwrapped pressure vessel from private property in southwest Grant County. The sheriff's office declined to specify the exact location. 

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in question launched March 4, delivering 60 Starlink satellites to low-earth orbit. Starlink is a program using web satellites to provide broadband internet anywhere on the planet. 

Dr. James Davenport, an astronomy professor with the University of Washington, said while the Falcon 9 booster is famously designed to land remotely on a drone ship for reuse, this later stage is intended to burn up in the atmosphere after delivering its payload. However, he believes its de-orbit burn was not successful, during which the craft turns tail-first and fires its engine to slow its speed and drop to earth. That error brought the debris into the atmosphere above a populated area -- instead of the ocean, Davenport said.

SpaceX has not commented on the incident or responded to requests from KING 5. 


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