A piece of burning rocket debris seen streaking across the Pacific Northwest sky last week crashed on a farm in eastern Washington State, authorities said.
After the March 25 event, a farmer found a nearly intact piece of the rocket in a private field, The Tri-City Herald reported.
The approximately 5-foot (1.5-meter) composite screwed-up pressure vessel used to store the helium left a nearly 4-inch (10.16-centimeter) dent in the ground, Grant County Sheriff's spokesman Kyle Foreman said. No one was injured, he said.
The National Weather Service in Seattle said it was widely reported that the bright objects in the sky on March 25 were the remnants of the second stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, leaving comet-like trails as they burned up on re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.
The farmer, who authorities said did not want to be identified, suspected debris might have been found from the rocket and left a message with the sheriff's office over the weekend, Foreman said. Deputies responded on Monday and contacted SpaceX representatives. SpaceX confirmed it was part of the rocket and has since retrieved it, Foreman said.
The Falcon 9 is a reusable, two-stage rocket developed by SpaceX to transport people and payloads into and out of Earth orbit, according to the SpaceX website. It says there were 111 launches and 71 landings.