An unusual, mysterious metallic object crashed at a walnut farm located in Hanford, California last week from space. The Kings County Sheriff’s Office got a call on Thursday, Oct 18 from a farm owner who informed about the presence of large metal fragments which crashed into his farm.
When officials dispatched to the actual site, they were surprised to see found a decayed helmet shaped metal object and believed that the charred debris landed from a decayed satellite from a closeby airbase. The farm owner was not expecting to discover such debris in his farm. Luckily, the incident did not cause any major form of damage, and no one was hurt.
After the officials probed into the matter with the Vandenberg Air Force Base, which hosts several rocket launches into space, they confirmed that the unknown object was a fuel tank of an Iridium Communications’ owned communications satellite. As per a spokesperson for Iridium Communications, the debris seems to have landed from the satellite called Iridium 70 which was launched around early 1998 and whose remains still appear to be making rounds in the space.
The satellite was making orbits around the earth in space with some other manmade space trash until the time it re-entered the planet’s atmosphere. However, it is still unclear about where the remaining parts of the satellite have crashed. The metallic piece of the decommissioned satellite remains to be sent to the Iridium headquarters to carry out further examination.
Currently, Iridium Communications is working on its campaign called Iridium NEXT to replace its complete space network with new communication satellites. It has successful sent 7 out of eight satellite constellation into the Earth’s orbit through Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX. The satellites are intended for real-time and broadband aircraft surveillance. The last and final launch of Iridium Next satellite is scheduled for December 30 this year.