Residents of eastern Brazil and northern Peru witnessed a rare atmospheric re-entry of a recently launched rocket that ended up hard landing in pieces over South America. The rocket was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on December 26, 2017, carrying AngoSat 1 Communications Satellite.
The SL-23 rocked body (international designation 2017-086D) re-entered Earth's atmosphere at 23:32 UTC on January 27, 2018, providing a rare opportunity to witness a rocket body slowly burning out in the atmosphere.
However, in an even more rare turn of events, a 40 kg (88 lbs) piece of the rocket measuring 1.05 x 2.7 m (41.3 x 106.3 inches) ended its flight hard landing in northern Peru, leaving a 30 cm (11.8 inches) deep and 29 cm (11.4 inches) wide crater.
SL-23 R/B re-entered Earth's atmosphere at 23:32 UTC on January 27, 2018. Credit: Aerospace
As reported by Exoss, witnesses took to social media and shared their images and videos of the re-entry. At the time, it was an unidentified burning object in the sky.
Exoss team later surveyed information about the event and found the following piece of the rocket in Puno region of northern Peru.
Exoss asks everyone who witnessed the phenomenon to report it using the form found at exoss.imo.net. You can send images and videos using the provided form or directly to their WHATSAPP at (12) 98181-7597.
Featured image: SL-23 rocket body fragment found in northern Peru on January 28, 2018. Credit: Exoss.org