Technology & Science

SpaceX rocket explosion debris likely found by UK Coast Guard

A floating object mistaken for a dead whale has been retrieved by the UK Coast Guard, and turns out to be part of a U.S. rocket - likely one that exploded on launch earlier this year.

Debris covered in barnacles and mistaken for dead whale

''The markings show an American flag. It looks like it’s an American rocket and is similar to the unmanned Space X Falcon 9 which blew up shortly after take-off from Cape Canaveral in June,' said Martin Leslie, coastal area commander for the UK Coast Guard. (Maritime and Coastguard Agency)

Debris from a U.S. rocket, most likely the doomed SpaceX Falcon 9, has been recovered near the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of southwest England, the UK coastguard has said on Friday.

It was covered in barnacles and was initially mistaken for a dead whale.

Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency said in a statement that a piece of metal alloy was recovered with the help of a local boatman. It measured around 10 metres by 4 metres (13 feet).

The floating metal object retrieved by the UK Coast Guard was covered in barnacles and was initially mistaken for a dead whale. (Maritime and Coastguard Agency)

Martin Leslie, coastal area commander, said: "The markings show an American flag. It looks like it's an American rocket and is similar to the unmanned Space X Falcon 9 which blew up shortly after take-off from Cape Canaveral in June."

Photographs showed the debris covered in what Joseph Thomas, the boatman, told the BBC were goose barnacles.

"There were lots of gulls on the water and I thought initially it was a dead whale and the birds were feeding off 
it," he said.

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