This comment links to this collectspace.com post:

Three business executives vacationing (?) in the Bahamas came across part of a SpaceX Falcon 9 fairing that washed ashore. They shared their find with Elon Musk via Twitter.

We found part of your @SpaceX washed ashore in the Bahamas.

Musk replied:

Cool, thanks for letting us know. This is helpful for figuring out fairing reusability.

The men said they will be returning the GoPro camera and sim cards mounted inside the fairing back to SpaceX. No word on the disposition of the fairing itself.

Once or twice is, as Musk says, "cool", but there is an escalation of launches, and recovery of various bits will never be 100%.

Overall, as world-wide launch cadences increase, will space junk become as common on the high seas as it is in orbit?

Question: Is there a mitigation plan for future ocean space junk in place, or one being considered or at least discussed?

The question What makes 21st century fairings so valuable that they'd potentially be recovered and re-used? begs the question "should launch providers have to pay a "bottle deposit" to encourage them, or subcontractors to collect and return the stuff that washes up on shore?


They believe that the video below is what was on the SD card in the camera shown

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From this comment is linked Found on the beach on Cape Hatteras, NC. Looks to me like part of a spacecraft, or perhaps a high-tech yacht or racing boat. which links to this collection of photos: https://i.sstatic.net/Fq5Rp.jpg

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above: caption "Put shoes next to it for scale although it's a little misleading because they're size 14"

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From Sciencealert.com's SpaceX Asked to Clean Up Its Trash as Giant Piece of Falcon 9 Found on a Beach

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Really excellent pictures. But there will be much more non floating space junk at the submarine ground. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 15:01
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Agree. Thousands of containers wash overboard, and whole ships sink every year. Debris from the space sector is a tiny amount compared to that. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 15:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @gwally I've currently only asked one question about ocean trash What is Boomy McBoomFace? but I'm certainly incredibly worried about it, overfishing, trawling damage, rogue fishing nets, mercury accumulation in whales, etc. This question is not a "wakeup call" about environmental awareness. It's simply a narrowly focused question exploring the future rate of rocket parts collecting on beaches and other places in the ocean, and if this will increase exponentially or if there plans to lower the rate of per-launch flotsam generation. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 21:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I have upvoted, but I do think the recovery plans are the remediation... $\endgroup$
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 22:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I just asked another question about the last picture. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 13:10


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