Photos Show Big Chunks of Suspected SpaceX Rocket That Landed on Sheep Farm

Pictures show huge pieces of space junk, suspected to be from a SpaceX rocket, that crashed to Earth and landed on sheep farms in Australia.

Sheep farmer Mick Miners first came across a strange, charred object on his ranch, south of Jindabyne, in the Snowy Mountains, New South Wales on July 25.

"I didn't know what to think, I had no idea what it was," Miners told ABC Australia at the time.

Another piece was also discovered by his neighbor, Jock Wallace.

Now, somebody else has come forward to ABC Australia, having found another piece of junk on July 14, in Moonbah.

The space junk is thought to be linked to a sonic boom heard across the area on July 9. People also saw a streak of bright light across the sky at the same time.

When a rocket is launched, parts of the craft break away from the main payload and fall back down to Earth. Most of these pieces burn up when the hit the atmosphere, however some large pieces may remain intact. These pieces usually land in the ocean, which makes up two thirds of the Earth's surface. But on occasion, they can hit land.

Space junk
A picture shows the space junk found in the snowy mountains. A loud bang was heard a few days before the first piece was discovered. Brad Tucker

One piece of junk found was estimated to be about 9.8 feet long, ABC Australia reported.

Brad Tucker, a Canberra-based astrophysicist and cosmologist, believes the debris is from the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, from the Crew-1 Trunk. He visited the scene of the debris to inspect it, which he recorded and posted to YouTube.

Pictures sent to Newsweek by Tucker show the charred objects stuck in the ground. The ground appears blackened beneath the objects.

"On Saturday 9 July at 7am (local Australian Eastern time) the SpaceX Crew-1 Trunk, which is the unpressurized bottom part of the capsule, was cataloged and tracked to be re-entering over the southern parts of New South Wales in Australia," Tucker told Newsweek. "At that time, people across the area heard a sonic boom as the Trunk entered the atmosphere. People also saw it breaking apart, characteristic of space junk. Dalgety, [New South Wales] where the pieces were found were pretty close to the exact flight path of this junk. After inspection, you can see scorching patterns, as well as the composition matches that of space equipment. The parts matched can also be roughly visually matched to pictures and parts of the trunk."

Space junk
A picture shows the space junk found in the snowy mountains. An expert believes it is from the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. Brad Tucker

Newsweek has contacted SpaceX for a comment, however the spacecraft engineering company founded by Elon Musk has not yet commented on the finds, or confirmed that it is from the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.

Tucker told ABC Australia that "eventually SpaceX, or at least the U.S," will have to make a "declaration about whether they want to keep it or have it returned."

The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launched in 2020.

These pieces of space junk are an extremely rare find. According to NASA, the chances of debris hitting a populated area is extremely low. NASA has estimated that the chances of somebody being hit by debris is around 1 in 3,200.

Space junk
A picture shows the space junk found in the Snowy Mountains. An expert believes it is from the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. Brad Tucker