SpaceX visits Saskatchewan to collect Dragon spacecraft debris

SpaceX made a trip to Canada this week, visiting a farm in Saskatchewan to collect debris from one of its spacecraft returning to Earth earlier this year.

The debris was found by farmer Barry Sawchuk, who discovered large fragments of space junk on his property near Ituna, northeast of Regina. The debris, identified as parts of a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft that returned from the International Space Station in February, but failed to burn up upon re-entry, scattering across several farms in the region.

Sawchuk, who first spotted the debris in April, contacted SpaceX, leading to the retrieval on Tuesday. Two SpaceX employees arrived at the farm, loading the sizeable carbon fiber and aluminum fragments into a U-Haul truck.

Sawchuk, who was compensated an undisclosed amount by SpaceX for the return of the fragments, didn’t seem phased by the incident, telling CBC, “It’s no different than going to seed a crop or harvesting a good crop. It’s all just the same thing.”

The funds Sawchuk received from SpaceX won’t be going into his bank account, but will rather be donated to support the construction of a new community ice rink.

The situation at Ituna is not isolated. Reports of space debris landing in other parts of the world, including the United States and Australia. The specific pieces recovered from Saskatchewan are believed to be remnants of the trunk section of the Dragon capsule, which launched in February and re-entered Earth’s atmosphere later that month.

You can watch a report from CBC showing the two SpaceX employees retrieving the debris below.

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