Space junk lands on California farm
KINGS COUNTY, CA (KMPH) – A mysterious piece of space junk that fell from the sky in Southern California appears to have been part of a communication satellite.
But people still aren’t really sure what to make of it.
A bright flash lit up the sky over the region last week, around the same time apparently that a metal object was falling onto a Kings County farm.
The discovery was made Saturday, on a ranch south of Hanford, CA, about half an hour south of Fresno.
That same day, Naval Air Station Lemoore ruled out any connection.
And while Space-X recently launched a Falcon-9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, this was not a fragment.
One of the company’s vice presidents said he was “fairly certain” it wasn’t from them.
“The tanks are too short, the liner looks like different material, and it also looks like it went through an orbital reentry,” he said.
But, it could instead be the same object that made the bright light last Thursday. A video of that event appears to show a satellite making reentry.
One satellite was tracked making reentry that day, and it came within a mile or two of where the metal object was found.
The satellite communications company Iridium identified the object as a fuel tank.
They said it belonged to a low-orbiting satellite that was launched in the late ’90s and re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere.