A huge piece of space junk from a spacecraft flown by Elon Musk’s SpaceX has torpedoed into a farmer’s property in the Snowy Mountains in NSW.
The three-metre object – a piece of a SpaceX Crew-1 craft – was discovered speared into the ground on a property south of Jindabyne, after farmer Mick Miners went to investigate a loud bang that was heard by his daughters.
Australian National University space expert Brad Tucker told radio host Ben Fordham he was called out to investigate the discovery.
‘This is most definitely space junk which was part of the SpaceX Crew-1 trunk,’ he said on Ben Fordham Live on Monday morning.
‘SpaceX has this capsule that takes humans into space but there is a bottom part… so when the astronauts come back, they leave the bottom part in space before the capsule lands.’
Farmer Mick Miners (pictured) discovered the huge piece of space junk stuck in his property in the Snowy Mountains, south of Jindabyne
Australian National University space expert Brad Tucker confirmed it was part of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Crew-1 (pictured)
Mr Tucker said the part has been in space since November 2020 and was starting to de-orbit.
‘There was a plan of having it come down on Earth and purposely hitting the Earth’s atmosphere so it would break apart and land in the ocean,’ he said.
It’s understood swathes of people across southern NSW saw an explosion and heard the loud bang when it crashed into Mr Miners’ farm.
‘We saw most pieces land in the ocean but clearly some hadn’t because this three-metre piece was speared into the ground from space,’ Mr Tucker said.
He said the object had landed a long way from Mr Miners’ home, which was why it took some time to actually locate it.
‘From a distance it looks like a tree almost, like a burnt tree, and then you get closer and you realise “hey that’s not right”,’ Mr Tucker said.
Mr Miners’ neighbour Jock also had a piece of space junk on his property.
‘The Australian Space Agency is now handling it because there is actually a legal protocol… so technically it’s still SpaceX’s,’ Mr Tucker said.
The Australian Space Agency is now handling the recovery of the junk – a piece of a Crew-1 spacecraft (pictured) flown by Elon Musk’s SpaceX
‘We assume they don’t want it back because the whole point was to break in the ocean.
‘Now if SpaceX said they want it back, well then they have to essentially pay Mick and Jock to get it all back.
‘However, if they are able to keep it, they have options including giving it to a museum, selling it on eBay.’
Mr Tucker said there would be plenty people who would like to collect the space junk.
‘They get a little tidy sum for all the trouble they have been put through,’ he said.