Some unexpected news from the launch failure of the Falcon 9R (v1.1R) rocket on 28 June 2015.  On 26 November 2015, a large part of the unmanned SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule carried on that flight was discovered floating in the sea by local boatmen between Bryher and Tresco in the Scilly Islands.   The part had the Stars and Stripes US flag and part of its Dragon name emblazoned on it – along with a lot of sea weed.

The part, which was later recovered to a beach, apparently floated 4,100 miles from the sea impact point off the coast of Florida all the way to the islands off the southern tip of Cornwall, UK.   The SpaceX Falcon 9R first stage is designed to be returned intact in a powered landing onto a landing pad on a barge a few hundred miles down range. However, before this could occur the rocket exploded due to a mechanically induced over-pressurisation fault on the second stage of the two-stage launch vehicle. The rocket was launching Dragon capsule with a cargo of food, and small satellites on behalf of NASA to the International Space Station.

Dragon space capsule  part found in sea. Courtesy: Tresco Island via BBC

Dragon space capsule part found in sea. Courtesy: Tresco Island via BBC