Saturday, June 03, 2023
A loud boom was reported late Tuesday night on social media that shook the Florida Panhandle as the SpaceX Dragon capsule made its return to Earth, splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico.
People who heard the loud noise took to Twitter to share the news.
"We heard the boom here in Pensacola about 25 min ago!" a Twitter user tweeted in response to a tweet from the company that was live streaming the splashdown, which occurred at 11:04 pm ET.
Meanwhile, other Pensacola-based Twitter users said their dogs began to yelp and they thought a tree branch had fallen on their roof.
According to WKRG, some locals even contacted 911 to report an explosion.
"If you heard a loud sound around 10 pm and thought something hit your house, that was actually a sonic boom from SpaceX Dragon re-entering the atmosphere and making a splash down in the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City Beach," Santa Rosa County Emergency Management clarified in a Facebook post.
The SpaceX capsule was scheduled to make its return to Earth after a 10-day journey to the International Space Station.
The private aircraft, carrying two Saudi astronauts and two additional passengers, was dropped by parachute into the Gulf of Mexico 12 hours after docking at the orbiting lab, Fox News reported.
The Axiom Space Ax-2 crew included retired Nasa astronaut Peggy Whitson, Tennessee businessman John Shoffner, stem cell researcher Rayyanah Barnawi, and fighter pilot Ali al-Qarner.
Barnawai, who became the first Saudi woman in space, said Monday: "Every story comes to an end, and this is only the beginning of a new era for our country and our region."
The Dragon and Ax-2 crews boarded a Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday, May 21, to be launched to the space station from Nasa's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
It was the second private astronaut flight from Axiom Space to the International Space Station. By the end of the year, the business hopes to have added more customers.