A charred lump of space debris found on farmland in New South Wales is part of one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX missions, Australian authorities confirmed on Thursday.

The debris, believed to have plummeted to Earth on July 9, was found by a sheep farmer last week in Dalgety, a remote area near Australia’s Snowy Mountains, about a five-hour drive south-west of Australia. Sydney.

“It was exciting and strange at the same time,” astrophysicist Brad Tucker, who visited the site after being contacted by local farmers last month, told GLM.

Finding the large chunk embedded in an empty field reminded him of the science fiction movie “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the scientist said. “It’s amazing to see.”

Australia’s space agency confirmed in a statement that the debris came from one of Musk’s missions and asked locals to report any additional findings to SpaceX.

“The Agency has confirmed that the debris came from a SpaceX mission and continues to liaise with our counterparts in the United States, as well as other parts of the Commonwealth and local authorities, as appropriate,” a spokesperson said.

Tucker explained that the piece was part of a trunk discarded by the previous Crew-1 capsule when it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere in 2021. There have already been other reports of space debris found on nearby properties, making it likely that more will turn up. SpaceX mission parts.

Most space debris falls into the sea, but with the rise of space industries around the world, the amount that crashes to Earth is likely to increase, he added. “We have to realize that there is a likely risk that it could hit a populated area once and what that means,” he warned.

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