So what is it! Unidentified object washed up on Australian beach surprises scientists, finally revealed to be ‘from space’
A cylinder washed off the rocket is likely to be identified by experts as a jettisoned fuel tank of the Indian model
A huge metal cylinder that washed up on a remote beach in WA has been identified as a jettisoned fuel tank from an Indian rocket, according to an expert.
The massive barnacled object was found near Green Head, about 250km north of Perth, on Sunday, prompting authorities to call.
WA Police called off the search and even guarded what it worried was ‘space junk’, meaning debris from a rocket or satellite that has fallen to Earth and could contain potentially dangerous fuel or chemicals.
Dr Alice Gorman, a space archeologist at Flinders University in South Australia, believes it is the third stage of an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket.
He told news.com.au, ‘When the rocket is launched, the fuel tanks are spilled and the fuel is spent and usually falls over the ocean, as it did’.
An expert believes the object that washed up in WA is a fuel tank from an Indian rocket and was probably destroyed in the 2010s.
‘It appears to have been under the sea for some time, becoming home to sea creatures such as barnacles. A storm probably blew it away, one allowed it to wash ashore.’
Dr Gorman thought it was probably a part of one of the 33 PSLVs launched in the 2010s.
A user on social media platform Reddit first identified the object as part of an Indian rocket.
The Australian Space Agency (ASA) has urged local police to report any further suspicious debris found and to notify the agency.
‘The object may be from a foreign space launch vehicle and we are in contact with adversaries worldwide who may be able to provide more information,’ a spokesman said.
Dr Alice Gorman, an expert in space archeology at Flinders University in South Australia, believes it is the third stage of the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSL) rocket.
The jettisoned third stage of the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket is on display
The object was initially considered dangerous by police as they and state and federal agencies raced to determine if it was a risk to the community.
However, analysis by the Department of Western Australia’s Fire and Emergency Services and Chemistry Center determined the substance was safe and posed no risk to the community.
Although the object is safe, WA Police guard it and members of the public are asked to stay away.
It comes three weeks after another mysterious device was found floating ashore near Perth’s northern beaches.
According to The West Australian newspaper, Australian Defense Force personnel detonated the device which was later found to be a marker marine flare.
After initial concerns the object may contain hazardous fuel or chemicals, authorities now believe it is safe