Mysterious Metal Object that Crashed into Californian Farm was the Fuel tank of Iridium Satellite Number 70

[Image: Pixabay]

The mystery of strange, metal object that was found on a California farm has finally been solved.

On October 18, a walnut farmer in Southern California discovered a weird, large metal object in his orchard. The farm is located south of Hanford, about half an hour south of Fresno.

According to the farmer, this object had smashed into his orchard. It appeared to be of unknown origin. The farmer immediately called the Kings County Sheriff’s Office, California, and sought the help of administration in this matter.

After a few hours, officers arrived at the site to find a charred, helmet-like, metallic object in the orchard. They concluded that it could be part of a satellite. They contacted the nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base, asking experts to identify the metallic object. Vandenberg Air Force Base also conducts launches of rockets into space. SpaceX had recently launched a Falcon-9 rocket from this Base. The staff at the base ruled out the object being a fragment of SpaceX rocket.

“The tanks are too short, the liner looks like different material, and it also looks like it went through an orbital reentry,” said SpaceX’s vice president.

The object was suggested to be the same object that made the bright light over the region last Thursday, as witnessed by many people.

Upon further investigation, Vandenberg Air Force Base staff concluded that the object was actually a fuel tank from a communications satellite owned by Iridium Communications. The satellite made a reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere on Thursday.

The police contacted the Iridium Communications, and a representative confirmed that the metallic object was a part of their decommissioned Iridium Satellite #70. This satellite was launched on May 17, 1998 atop a Delta 7920-10C rocket. Iridiums 72, 73, 74 and 75 satellites were also launched into space the same day. Iridium #70 had been orbiting Earth for the past several years, and it eventually made a re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere in October 2018. Iridium satellite #73 is still in orbit.