The second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, which failed to restart its engine out of orbit during the March 4 Starlink mission, has just burned up in Earth’s atmosphere in the most spectacular way.
The missile disintegration was seen in the states of Washington and Oregon, northwestern United States, on Thursday night. Although SpaceX has not yet released an official statement about what happened, many astronomers have identified the lights as a harmless remnant of that mission.
According to the astronomer Jonathan McDowell, From the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the return of the Falcon 9 to a second stage was observed in the Seattle area at around 4:00 UTC on March 26. It’s the 14th piece of space debris weighing more than a ton has been burned in the atmosphere since January, which means these kinds of events happen every week.
In the 22 days that it orbited the Earth before it fell due to gravity, the second stage of the Falcon 9 was flying at 27,000 km / h. This high speed, combined with weather in the upper part of the atmosphere, makes it impossible to predict where the re-entry will be. However, satellites and missile parts like these burn at 60 km, well above the altitude of the aircraft, so they pose no danger..