A SpaceX rocket prompted a wave of 911 calls after it created a series of sonic booms while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere at around 1am on Monday.
The Falcon 9 rocket, which was returning to Cape Canaveral in Florida as SpaceX’s fifth successful test for reusable landing rockets, caught many by surprise and prompted explosion fears from nearby civilians who even reported shaking walls and windows.
“A space shuttle landed yesterday at Kennedy Space Center and the sonic boom was heard all the way in Orlando. My walls shook,” wrote one shocked user on Twitter. “Sonic boom woke me up in Orlando. Rattled my windows,” posted another.
A space shuttle landed yesterday at Kennedy Space Center and the sonic boom was heard all the way in Orlando. My walls shook.
— val ♡ (@InfiniteVally) July 18, 2016
Sonic boom woke me up in Orlando. Rattled my windows. #Falcon9
— Jeff Krause (@jeffkrause1) July 18, 2016
Boom here in Orlando shook the entire house. Woke me up, wow! #Falcon9
— Ed Sweat (@EdESweat) July 18, 2016
— Meg Neyland (@MegNeyland) July 18, 2016
“Attention Orlando and nearby areas: There was no explosion, no malfunction, or no alien attack… That was a sonic boom of the rocket,” announced Orlando news account “Orlando United”. “That shit scared me so bad,” replied one user.
Attention Orlando and nearby areas: There was no explosion, no malfunction, or no alien attack… That was a sonic boom of the rocket.
— Inside Universal (@insideuniversal) July 18, 2016
Anyone else in Orlando just hear the sonic boom from the @SpaceX Falcon 9 re-entry? Shook our windows!
— Nick Pettit (@nickrp) July 18, 2016
“He was excited the stage was back in good health,” said SpaceX’s Vice President of Mission Assurance Hans Koenigsmann about the company’s CEO Elon Musk. “The whole goal is to lower the cost of space travel.”
Koenigsmann went on to say that the sonic boom scare was due to people forgetting about the similar dual booms of the former space shuttle program.
“I believe it’ll be the same thing,” he said. “It takes time to get used to it.”
The rocket was reported to have been transporting scientific research, experiments, and supplies for the astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station.
“We don’t like having to depend on someone else to take our astronauts,” said NASA’s launch integration manager Steve Payne, who praised the advancement of commercial space travel. “We are fomenting a new industry. Commercial spaceflight is new. Someday, everybody will be able to fly into space and this is the beginning of that industry.”