Saturday, May 8, 2021
May 8, 2021

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Piece of space junk might have washed up in Waldport


Don’t look now, but charred space debris is washing up on the Oregon Coast.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office officials are reporting that they have recorded what is possibly a component from a SpaceX vehicle. The debris washed up at Alsea Bay near Waldport and was briefly stored near a local business.

Deputies responded Friday afternoon and set up an exclusion perimeter while the nature of the object was being assessed. Central Oregon Coast Fire and Rescue also responded and determined the object was not an immediate hazardous materials threat. After further consultation with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, SpaceX was contacted.

SpaceX was not able to determine if the object was a component of one of their spacecrafts. However it did appear consistent with a composite overwrapped pressure vessel component, which is a piece designed to hold fluid or gas under high pressure. SpaceX engineers looked at numerous photographs of the debris and heard reports from deputies before advising that the object could be safely transported.

The object, deputies said, was transported to a secure location by deputies so additional evaluation could be made regarding the object’s origin.

The object might have been a piece from the Falcon X rocket that created such a startling show in the skies over the West Coast in late March. Another piece was found on an eastern Washington farm last week.