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Space debris lands in orchard

HANFORD, Calif. – It’s a story out of this world.

A farmer finding debris from space in his walnut orchard located on eighth and Houston avenues in Hanford last week.

The farmer called local sheriff. Mark Bevins of the Kings County Sheriff’s Office said “We were a little reluctant at the beginning to issue a press release saying that it actually came from outer space, for fear it could have been a hoax.”

Detectives called Vandenberg Air Force Base and learned it was a fuel tank from a communications satellite which had been in orbit for over a decade. The satellite had re-entered earth’s atmosphere.

The Kings County Sheriff’s Office said this was the most unusual case they had solved. “It was exciting. It was exciting, it was something different for us.”

Fresno State professor Frederick Ringwald, who teaches astronomy, called this a rare event. “We may see more of them, although they will still continue to be rare events” he said.

Ringwald says most spacecraft landings are controlled and usually land in the Pacific Ocean.

Google Map for coordinates 36.327450 by -119.645684.

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