The Grapevine

Fisherman Finds SpaceX Dragon Capsule Piece On Water And Fishes It Out

Very much like fishermen, charter captains usually just haul in fishes during, well, fishing trips. However, a new report reveals that one such captain from Ponce Inlet managed to haul something much more rare: a piece of the Dragon space capsule.

Unusual Catch

In a video that was posted just this Tuesday, Capt. David Stokes revealed that he was merely looking for wahoo off the coast of Daytona Beach when his eyes managed to catch something bobbing in the water. Moving closer to it, the captain then realized that it was a piece of the Dragon capsule from SpaceX, which he figured has been a leftover from last month’s flight test.

Last January 19, SpaceX purposely blasted a Dragon capsule from a Falcon 9 rocket in order to test its ability to survive and withstand unexpected in-flight emergencies. As expected, the booster of the Falcon 9 erupted in a fireball. However, the capsule managed to safely pull away, parachuting into the water below. From there, a SpaceX ship fished it out, unaware that it left the capsule’s parachute hatch cover behind, only to be picked up by Stokes a few weeks later.

“We went by and I saw the Dragon [logo]. And being a space geek, I noticed it was a Dragon door,” Stokes explained.

And after almost an hour of dragging it from the water, Stokes and his colleagues were finally able to fish it out and bring it onboard.

“After 40 minutes or so of wrestling with it, inches by inches, we finally pulled it all up. Turned out, at the end of the day, we got the catch of our life,” the captain added, clearly happy.

After all that work, Stokes then decided to head into rest. However, he did just manage to fish out a space capsule fragment from the ocean, and so he took some time to pose for pictures along with the hatch. Overall, the captain seem very happy with what they found.

Space Capsule

While the Dragon capsule itself was unmanned during the test of its safety features, it will be crewed once it actually leaves the atmosphere to start its mission.

SpaceX Dragon This handout image supplied by the European Space Agency (ESA), shows a view of The Palms, Dubai as the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft passes below, in an image taken by ESA astronaut Tim Peake from the International Space Station on April 10, 2016. Tim Peake/ESA/NASA via Getty Images