Massive Space Junk Crashes Onto Farm, See The Enormous Debris

By Christopher Isaac | Published

meteor

Farmers do not have an easy job but they are commonly thought to have pretty simple lives. They tend to their crops and animals and do not really need to pay too much mind to events beyond their farms. So it was quite a shock recently for one farmer in Saskatchewan when he discovered space debris from one of Elon Musk’s spaceships had crashed into the middle of his field.

The Debris

space debris

Barry Sawchuk was the farm owner who discovered the space debris and was understandably as vexed by its presence on his property as you would imagine.

“My oldest son and I were out driving around just checking fields,” he said of the incident. “We came across this object. We thought originally it was just garbage.”

Even as lacking in knowledge of spaceships as Sawchuk is, the size and complexity of the object made him deduce that it probably was not something local. He quickly surmised where the space debris must have come from, but he couldn’t imagine how or why.

Thanks, Elon!

elon musk

After word began to spread about the unusual find, a group of astronomy experts began looking into the case to try and trace the origin of the space debris. They concluded it most likely came from the company SpaceX, which is owned by Elon Musk.

However, the company has had no comment on the matter or any expression of interest in reclaiming what might be their property. So that leaves Sawchuk the new apparent owner.

Samantha Lawler, an astronomy professor at the University of Regina, says such incidents are becoming more common in recent years. With private space companies now in existence, space debris is becoming a real problem.

A resident in Florida saw a similar incident lead to their roof getting smashed in by falling debris. “It’s really just luck. If that had hit in the middle of Regina or, yeah, New York City, it very easily could have killed someone,” said Lawler.

We Need Regulations

Lawler warned that regulations need to be enacted to address this sooner rather than later. Technology often outpaces legislature and next time the space debris could result in casualties.

“The aggregate effects of all of these satellites and all of these re-entries need to be considered more carefully,” said Lawler. “This will be tested in the very near future. It’s really unfortunate how this is evolving.”

While this particular situation wound up being a mostly harmless novelty, that might not be the case next time. However, Sawchuk is not bothered by his first encounter with space debris. In fact, he is looking to turn the situation into a big positive.

He figures the debris has to be worth a substantial amount of money, so now he is looking to sell it off and to use the money to help his community.

Space Hockey

“Here in Ituna, Saskatchewan, we’re in the process of building a [hockey] rink,” Sawchuk said. “I think, if I can, I’m going to sell it. Some of the proceeds will go to the rink. That’s where I was born and raised, so why not?”

It is hard to imagine a company like SpaceX being willing to let others profit off of their expensive equipment like this on a regular basis, but so far situations like this are still rare. If raining space debris does become a more frequent occurrence, intervention will likely occur as much to protect people as for space companies to protect their valuable assets.

Thankfully, No One Was Hurt

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending, with none of Sawchuk’s family or property being harmed, and them left with a potential payday to look forward to. It will be interesting to hear if there are further details regarding how Sawchuk gets the space debris appraised and what he is able to get for it.

Source: CBC

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