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Failed Satellites Burning? Look Up on Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

Published 02/10/22 at 12:32 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Failed Satellites Burning? Look Up on Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

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(Waldport, Oregon) – It's not like it's the first time the Oregon coast or Washington State was affected by SpaceX satellites. In fact, last year the company really “made its mark” in the region, so to speak. An apparent SpaceX chunk washed up on the central Oregon coast in 2021, another piece crashed in Washington, and both states saw a major fireball caused by a crashing chunk of space debris that was actually alarming to people. (Photo above courtesy Lincoln County Sheriffs: SpaceX debris found in Waldport last year)

Now, those on the Oregon coast and Washington coast probably should be looking the next few nights, as nearly 40 SpaceX satellites could be crashing to Earth in the coming days. 40 of the 49 Starlink high speed internet satellites launched last week were hit with a massive geomagnetic surge from the sun, causing them to malfunction and then reenter the atmosphere.

According to SpaceX they "will reenter or already have reentered the Earth's atmosphere" in the coming days.

Indeed, some were already spotted on February 3 above Puerto Rico and caught on video (see at bottom).

49 Starlink satellites were launched last week and they were about to enter a higher orbit when a strong burst of energy from the sun hit them. The geomagnetic storm created a nice light show with the northern lights, but it also changed the atmosphere around them, increasing drag and wrecking their chances of making the higher orbit.

Photo courtesy YouTube's kevinizooropa - a still from the video in Puerto Rico

Nine satellites were able to be saved; the other 40 will meet a fiery death in the skies. All are expected to burn up in the atmosphere and leave no debris.

SpaceX has already launched some 2,000 of the Starlink satellites into orbit. The project will bring internet connections to all places around the world, particularly remote places where internet service can't be obtained.

Back in late March, a failed Falcon X rocket put on a major show on the Oregon coast, Washington coast and inland areas when it broke up over the skies of the Pacific Northwest and California. It created a gigantic display which looked like an alien invasion to many. It was soon revealed it was a SpaceX object.

Later, a chunk of that rocket was found on a farm in eastern Washington.

Not long after that, the Lincoln County Sheriff's office received a call of a mysterious chunk of something that looked like it was from a rocket, found in the bay at Waldport.

The object looked like a fuel container piece and was severely charred, which pointed to it being part of the Falcon X rocket that fell over the skies a few weeks prior. Lincoln County sheriffs quarantined the debris for a time as they assessed any possible hazards, first contacting Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and then SpaceX.

SpaceX eventually came to retrieve the object, but has so far not admitted to it being of its own manufacture.

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Fireball last year over the NW (courtesy Andy's Auto Care Plus in Albany, Oregon)

Possible Satellites Burning Up Above Oregon Coast, Washington Coast
Photo above courtesy Lincoln County Sheriffs: SpaceX debris found in Waldport last year

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