What the hell was that?
Residents in Jacksonville, Florida, heard a loud boom on Thursday night — and it wasn't fireworks gone rogue or a massive fireball.
As it turns out, it was SpaceX's Dragon 2 spacecraft breaking the sound barrier right before splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean. Videos shared on social media show the blazing capsule burning through the atmosphere.
The boom was so loud that several residents nearby reported they felt their entire houses shaking, according to Insider — the kind of disruption that soon could become commonplace as space travel becomes more accessible than ever.
WOW!! I was able to capture @SpaceX Dragon’s re-entry tonight on our way back from St Augustine. I had no idea what it was at first! @ActionNewsJax https://t.co/bqSZo83CTO pic.twitter.com/h3Dc8aG6u4
— Dani Bozzini (@DaniANjax) October 1, 2021
The spacecraft successfully completed the space company's 23rd commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station last week. The capsule spent about a month in space after delivering supplies, scientific research equipment, and tech demonstrations.
It carried about 4,600 pounds of cargo, including frozen experiment specimens used to study diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and type 2 diabetes, according to NASA.
It was also carrying samples from a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency investigation into special biomaterials capable of inhibiting muscle atrophy in microgravity.
Given the increased frequency of space launches, there's a very good chance more and more people will be able to witness the return of a spacecraft — and, perhaps, hear it as well.
READ MORE: SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft caused a sonic boom in Florida after splashing down in the Atlantic, residents say [Insider]
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