Summer on the beaches of Florida this year is being spoiled by threats of sharks and flesh-eating bacteria. And there's a new threat in the water, as NASA warned beachgoers debris from Falcon 9, which exploded and dropped into the ocean Sunday, could be washing ashore.
Following the explosion, NASA posted this message on their Twitter account, encouraging the public to stay away if traces of Falcon 9 is found in the water: "If you find debris in the vicinity of today @SpaceX launch mishap, please stay away & call 321-867-2121. @NASA_Kennedy #SpaceX"
County officials and the Coast Guard in Florida, as well as in Georgia, are already on the alert and have also issued a similar warning to residents and tourists around the beaches, according to WFTV.
"As with any incident involving spacecraft wreckage, debris should not be handled by members of the public," relayed Capt. Jeffrey Dixon of the Coast Guard Sector in Jacksonville. "These critical pieces of evidence are important in the investigation process and should be reported immediately to SpaceX or the U.S. Coast Guard."
The debris could also be "toxic and explosive" and thus, must not be touched. Anyone spotting the pieces must also not use any mobile phones near it, according to WESH Orlando. Instead, they need to leave the area immediately before calling the NASA recovery hotline.
Some beachgoers have expressed concerns their children may find pieces of Falcon 9 and pick these up before their parents realize what is going on. But locals in the area are not too worried. "This isn't the first explosion we've had. We've had maybe 15 or 20 over the years, and since it is over the ocean, it isn't likely that most of it will end up in the Cocoa Beach area," said Paul Eaton, who has been in the area for 40 years.
Falcon 9, the unmanned space rocket, disintegrated and exploded after its launch at Cape Canaveral. It was supposed to bring two tones worth of provisions at the International Space Station, HNGN reported previously.
Initial findings indicate that liquid oxygen may have burst due to the pressure, but further investigations are still being undertaken by SpaceX and the Federal Aviation Administration.
— NASA (@NASA) June 28, 2015