Coast Guard monitoring SpaceX debris field

MyFOX photo
MyFOX photo

The U.S. Coast Guard is helping monitor the debris field left in the Atlantic Ocean after Sunday's SpaceX rocket explosion.

Video released today showed a Clearwater-based Coast Guard C-130 crew dropping flares to mark the scene of debris floating off the state's east coast.

The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket exploded two minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, sending its Dragon cargo capsule -- meant for the space station -- tumbling to the ocean 28 miles below. Immediately afterwards, SpaceX officials said is ships had convened on the area to look for any debris, but there was no immediate word what, if anything, they found.

The 20-mile long debris field is about 150 miles off the coast of Jacksonville, the Coast Guard said, adding that NASA ships were also on the scene for recovery.

SpaceX, meanwhile, has said very little about the cause of the explosion. Company founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted that engineers were trying to parse out every last second of telemetry that had been sent from the exploding rocket, but no 'smoking gun' had been found.

If SpaceX is not able to find any clues in the data received from the rocket, that would make the search for physical evidence among the debris more important.

NASA has said the chances of debris washing up on Florida shores is minimal, but they warn beachgoers not to touch anything that might have come from the rocket.

SpaceX has set up a debris hotline to report any findings: 866-392-0035.

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