The Coast Guard is working with SpaceX and agencies to monitor debris from the Falcon 9 rocket that exploded Sunday, now floating more than 150 miles off the Florida-Georgia coast.
An unmanned SpaceX rocket was carrying supplies to the International Space Station when it exploded and broke apart Sunday shortly after liftoff. It was the third NASA cargo mission to fail in eight months and occurred just over two minutes into the flight from Cape Canaveral. Pieces of the rocket could be seen falling into the Atlantic, the remains of more than 5,200 pounds of space station cargo that were on board the rocket.
The Coast Guard is warning vessels that might be going through that area, and asking the public to report any debris that could wash ashore. No impacts from debris are expected on Florida beaches, but authorities will monitor that for any changes.
“As with any incident involving spacecraft wreckage, debris should not be handled by members of the public,” said Capt. Jeffrey Dixon, the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville commander in a news release. “These critical pieces of evidence are important in the investigation process and should be reported immediately to SpaceX or the U.S. Coast Guard. “