Late Tuesday night, as the SpaceX Dragon capsule was making its way back to Earth and splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico, a loud boom echoed across the Florida Panhandle. Residents in the area took to social media, particularly Twitter, to report the strange noise and share their experiences. Watch the video here.
Some Twitter users in Pensacola mentioned hearing the boom and even noted that their dogs reacted to the sound. Others initially thought a tree branch had fallen on their roof. The situation prompted a few locals to contact 911, mistaking the boom for an explosion.
However, Santa Rosa County Emergency Management clarified in a Facebook post that the loud sound was actually a sonic boom caused by the re-entry of the SpaceX Dragon capsule into the Earth’s atmosphere. The capsule had just completed a 10-day journey to the International Space Station and was returning with four passengers on board.
The Axiom Space Ax-2 crew, consisting of two Saudi astronauts, retired NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, a Tennessee businessman, a stem cell researcher, and a fighter pilot, successfully splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City Beach. This private mission marks an important milestone for Saudi Arabia, with one of the crew members, Rayyanah Barnawi, becoming the first Saudi woman in space.
The Dragon capsule’s journey back to Earth concluded a successful private flight to the International Space Station for Axiom Space, a company aiming to expand its clientele and continue facilitating private space travel.