Residents find scattered debris, broken glass after failed launch

WAVY/Erin Kelly

CHINCOTEAGUE ISLAND, Va. (WAVY) — Several residents on Chincoteague Island found small pieces of debris on their lawns Wednesday, following a failed rocket launch at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility Tuesday night.

Barbara Bowden said she noticed a small piece of the unknown debris as she was walking her dog.

“I actually thought it might have been a piece from the rocket, but not this far … I think it’s incredible that it floated over this far,” Bowden said.

Bowden and others said they called NASA to report the debris, some of which looked like gray, thin, carbon fiber material.

NASA has asked anyone who finds debris to not touch it, because it could contain materials hazardous to humans. Instead, they are asking people to report the debris to their response team at 757-824-1295.

The approximately 25 pieces of debris reported after the launch incident ranged in size from a postage stamp to a piece of paper, according to NASA.

Accomack County Supervisor Ron Wolff said a neighbor called to tell him the mishap shook the glass out of his Atlantic sandwich shop, which has served several NASA regulars over the years.

“I think the sound waves and shock waves came in and just blew the window out … the tragic part was the rocket not being successful. The glass is something that can be replaced,” Wolff said.

Joan Landon, who watched the attempted launch from her house in Atlantic, said she was hopeful more successful launches are ahead.

“It’s great. It creates jobs, and it’s just good for the area. So, I hope that they’re able to find out what happened and fix the problem and we can keep the launches around here,” Landon said.

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