Debris that washed ashore along the south Texas coast has been identified as part of a rocket, according to law enforcement.
A police officer made the discovery last week while investigating a report of possible airplane or boat debris being found at a Brazoria County beach.
The large rectangular object is believed to be debris from a rocket launched from South America last month. Freeport Police Department notified the U.S. Coast Guard, NASA, Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. State Department, after making the mysterious find.
“It clearly did not burn up on reentry, landed in the ocean, and floated all the way here to Freeport,” the department posted on Facebook. “It is not dangerous, except for the smell of dying barnacles that called it home for the past two weeks.”
An Arianespace news release confirmed the commercial space transportation company successfully launched its Ariane 5 rocket on February 14 from its spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Two satellites were placed in geostationary orbit for AT&T/DIRECTV and Telkom Indonesia.
The Freeport Police Department stated the owner of the rocket part will retrieve the debris at a later date.