A piece of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that broke apart when returning to land was found on a farm in central Washington, local authorities said last week.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office tweeted details about the discovery.
“SpaceX recovered a Composite-Overwrapped Pressure Vessel from last week’s Falcon 9 re-entry,” the tweet said. “It was found on private property in southwest Grant County this week. Media and treasure hunters: we are not disclosing specifics. The property owner simply wants to be left alone.”
COPVs are used to store helium to pressurize the propellant tanks of the Falcon 9’s upper stage.
The Falcon 9 rocket was used on March 4 for the Starlink 17 mission that launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The wreckage discovered was part of the company’s second-stage booster. The main booster returns to Earth for a landing, while the second stage is usually set on a trajectory to burn up in the atmosphere above the Pacific Ocean. A malfunction of some sort through the second stage off course.