Sydney: A charred chunk of space junk found jutting from a paddock by an Australian sheep farmer was confirmed to be part of one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX missions by authorities Thursday.
The ethereal-looking debris, believed to have plummeted to Earth on July 9, was found last week in Dalgety — a remote area near Australia’s Snowy Mountains, about five hours’ drive southwest of Sydney.
“It was kind of exciting and weird all in the same way,” astrophysicist Brad Tucker, who visited the site after local farmers contacted him last month, told AFP.
He said that finding the large chunk embedded in an empty field reminded him of something out of the sci-fi film “2001: A Space Odyssey”.
“It’s astounding to see it.”
Australia’s space agency confirmed the debris had come from one of Musk’s missions in a statement and told locals to report any further finds to SpaceX.
“The Agency has confirmed the debris is from a SpaceX mission and continues to engage with our counterparts in the US, as well as other parts of the Commonwealth and local authorities as appropriate,” an Australian Space Agency spokesman said.
Tucker said the piece was part of a trunk jettisoned by the earlier Crew-1 capsule when it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere in 2021.
He said the trunk had split up on re-entry, with reports of other space junk also found at nearby properties, making more discoveries linked to the SpaceX mission likely.
Most space debris splashes down at sea but with the increase in space industries worldwide, the amount crashing to earth would likely increase, he added.
“We do have to realise that there is a likely risk it may hit in a populated area once and what that means.”
Australia’s Space Agency said it was working to mitigate debris and had raised the issue internationally.
Death toll in Hyderabad gas leakage climbs to five
The injured were under treatment at a hospital in Karachi
Hyderabad: The death toll from a gas leakage blast at Hyderabad’s Pathan Colony a few days ago climbed to 5 on Thursday.
According to the details, the incident took place a few days ago women forgot to turn off the gas at night and in the morning an explosion occurred when the stove was lit in the kitchen.
The injured were under treatment at a hospital in Karachi.
Those who lost their lives in the incident were 65-year-old Ratan, 60-year-old Sawatri, their young daughter, and another person.
PM stresses for further strengthening of trade ties between Pak-Italy
The Prime Minister termed Italy a close friend of Pakistan and a reliable partner, both bilaterally and in the EU context.
Islamabad: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has stressed the need to further harness the existing potential to enhance trade and investment relations between Pakistan and Italy.
Talking to Ambassador of Italy in Pakistan Andreas Ferrarese in Islamabad, the Prime Minister termed Italy a close friend of Pakistan and a reliable partner, both bilaterally and in the EU context.
The Prime Minister further observed that Pakistan-Italy relations are marked by growing bilateral cooperation as well as commonality of views on a whole range of regional and global issues.
He highlighted the immense cooperation that Pakistan continued to extend to the international community in the wake of the situation in Afghanistan, particularly since August last year.
Nine Russian warplanes destroyed in Crimea blasts: Ukraine
Russia however denies any aircraft were damaged in Tuesday’s blasts or that any attack took place
Ukraine’s air force said Wednesday that nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in a deadly string of explosions at an air base in Crimea, amid speculation the blasts were the result of a Ukrainian attack that would represent a significant escalation in the war.
Russia denied any aircraft were damaged in Tuesday’s blasts — or that any attack took place.
Ukrainian officials stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions, while mocking Russia’s explanation that a careless smoker might have caused ammunition at the Saki air base to catch fire and blow up. Analysts also said that explanation doesn’t make sense and that the Ukrainians could have used anti-ship missiles to strike the base.
If Ukrainian forces were, in fact, responsible for the blasts, it would be the first known major attack on a Russian military site on the Crimean Peninsula, which was seized from Ukraine by the Kremlin in 2014. Russian warplanes have used Saki to strike areas in Ukraine’s south.
Crimea holds huge strategic and symbolic significance for both sides. The Kremlin’s demand that Ukraine recognize Crimea as part of Russia has been one of its key conditions for ending the fighting, while Ukraine has vowed to drive the Russians from the peninsula and all other occupied territories.
Hours after the blasts, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised again to do just that.
“This Russian war against Ukraine and against all of free Europe began with Crimea and must end with Crimea — its liberation,” he said in his nightly address.
The explosions, which killed one person and wounded 14, sent tourists fleeing in panic as plumes of smoke rose over the coastline nearby. Video showed shattered windows and holes in the brickwork of some buildings.
One tourist, Natalia Lipovaya, said that “the earth was gone from under my feet” after the powerful blasts. “I was so scared,” she said.
Sergey Milochinsky, a local resident, recalled hearing a roar and seeing a mushroom cloud from his window. “Everything began to fall around, collapse,” he said.
Crimea’s regional leader, Sergei Aksyonov, said some 250 residents were moved to temporary housing after dozens of apartment buildings were damaged.
But Russian authorities sought to downplay the explosions on Wednesday, saying all hotels and beaches were unaffected on the peninsula, which is a popular tourist destination for many Russians.
A Ukrainian presidential adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, cryptically said that the blasts were either caused by Ukrainian-made long-range weapons or the work of Ukrainian guerrillas operating in Crimea.
A Ukrainian parliament member, Oleksandr Zavitnevich, said the airfield was rendered unusable. He reported on Facebook that it housed fighter jets, tactical reconnaissance aircraft and military transport planes.
“Official Kyiv has kept mum about it, but unofficially the military acknowledges that it was a Ukrainian strike,” Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said.
The base is at least 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) from the closest Ukrainian position. Zhdanov suggested that Ukrainian forces could have struck it with Ukrainian or Western-supplied anti-ship missiles that have the necessary range.
The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said it couldn’t independently determine what caused the explosions but noted that simultaneous blasts in two places at the base probably rule out an accidental fire but not sabotage or a missile attack.
But it added: “The Kremlin has little incentive to accuse Ukraine of conducting strikes that caused the damage since such strikes would demonstrate the ineffectiveness of Russian air defense systems.”
During the war, the Kremlin has reported numerous fires and explosions on Russian territory near the Ukrainian border, blaming some of them on Ukrainian strikes. Ukrainian authorities have mostly kept silent about the incidents, preferring to keep the world guessing.
In other developments, Russian forces shelled areas across Ukraine on Tuesday night into Wednesday, including the central region of Dnipropetrovsk, where 13 people were killed, according to the region’s governor, Valentyn Reznichenko.
Reznichenko said the Russians fired at the city of Marganets and a nearby village. Dozens of residential buildings, two schools and several administrative buildings were damaged.
“It was a terrible night,” Reznichenko said. “It’s very hard to take bodies from under debris. We are facing a cruel enemy who engages in daily terror against our cities and villages.”
Two residents of the village of Staryi Saltiv in the Kharkiv region in the northeast were killed Wednesday in Russian shelling, police reported.
In the country’s southeast, Moscow’s forces continued shelling the city of Nikopol across the Dnieper River from the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia power station, the biggest nuclear plant in Europe. Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of shelling it, stoking international fears of a catastrophe.
On Wednesday, foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized democracies demanded that Russia immediately hand back full control of the plant to Ukraine. They said they are “profoundly concerned” about the risk of a nuclear accident with far-reaching consequences.
SOURCE: AP NEWS
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