If you live near the Northwest US-Canadian border, you may have seen a pretty impressive light show, as a SpaceX rocket was in the middle of an uncontrolled reentry Thursday evening.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that launched almost a month ago made an uncontrolled re-entry last night and a bunch of people got footage of it. Normally the rocket’s second stage relights and pushes it down so that it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere into the Pacific Ocean. However, there wasn’t enough propellant after this launch, leaving the second stage orbiting for three weeks until it was pulled into Earth’s upper atmosphere.
This was, however, simply the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage–which weighs about four metric tons unfueled–breaking apart in the atmosphere and burning up. It is likely that the second stage completely broke apart over the Rocky Mountains near the United States and Canadian border.
I have been told Agents Mulder and Scully were dispatched to the scene.