A Family of Farmers Found Carbon Fiber Debris on Their Land. It Turned Out to Be Part of a Spacecraft

  • SpaceX’s Crew Dragon discards its trunk before reentering the atmosphere.

  • The largest piece of the trunk found in Saskatchewan, Canada and weighed 100 pounds.

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Farmer Barry Sawchuk and his four children were working on their harvesting crops when they came across some unusual pieces of carbon fiber, with the largest piece weighing 100 pounds.

While it took the farming family from Saskatchewan, Canada a few days to get confirmation on what the mystery object was, they had no doubts about its origin. From the beginning, they believed it was something that fell from space.

“It could be part of a satellite or something that re-entered cause it’s all torched, you can see where it’s torched. Stuff has been burnt off,” they told CTV News. “It's carbon fiber composite, and there is aluminum honeycomb on it and in the back there is composite carbon again.”

Discarded Junk From SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Spacecraft


Jonathan McDowell, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, believes that the debris came from the trunk of a Crew Dragon spacecraft that returned from space on Feb. 26.

The trunk is a part of a SpaceX’s spacecraft that is meant to transport cargo and equipment that doesn’t need a pressurized environment, unlike the cabin that astronauts travel in.

This part of the Crew Dragon spacecraft is not built to withstand re-entry into the atmosphere, so it’s not recovered. It separates from the rest of the spacecraft and burns up in the atmosphere, but it doesn’t completely disintegrate, as shown in the photos.

According to McDowell’s calculations, the trunk found in Saskatchewan belonged to the Crew Dragon used in the Axiom-3 mission. European Space Agency astronaut Marcus Wandt, the Italian Air Force’s Walter Villadei, and Alper Gezeravci, the first Turkish man to go into space, were on board. The spacecraft was commanded by Michael Lopez-Alegria, a former NASA astronaut and vice president of Axiom.

This Won't Be the First or Last Time Space Junk Ends Up Where It Should

One notable incident occurred in 2022, when sheepherders in the Australian Outback discovered parts of the trunk of a Crew Dragon spacecraft that had been in space between 2020 and 2021.

On Monday, the trunk of a Crew Dragon cargo spacecraft reentered the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s part of the spacecraft used in the CRS-30 mission to the International Space Station. According to McDowell, the junk from this Crew Dragon fell in the Saudi Arabian desert west of Riyadh.

Image | SpaceX | Barry Sawchuck

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