The Space X Falcon 9 had a first-ever rocket launch on Sunday, Sept. 29, in California that gave the commercial spaceflight a huge boost. However, Alan Boyle at NBC News claims that reports started to pour in coming from witnesses in Southern Africa and the islands of Mauritius and Reunion about fuzzy UFO sightings approximately one hour after the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch from the Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9 a.m. PT (noon ET).
Photo Credit: YouTube
In Mauritius, the UFO sighting has been captured in a video footage that shows an orb floating and glowing in the sky. The Mauritius L'Express report speculates on whether the spotted object was a UFO, a satellite or a star cluster while the Zimbabwe Mail expressed awe over the "strange moonlike object" spotted from the country's Mashonaland region as well as Botswana, Malawi and South Africa.
Have a look at the video shared on YouTube with the title "UFO in Mauritius 9/29/2013 at around 9:00pm." Experts who had a look at the UFO sighting video and shared their observations include Greg Roberts, a retired astronomer from Cape Town, South Africa, space analyst James Oberg and rocket scientist Ben Brockert.
Greg Roberts gave an explanation on what the unidentified flying object really was to the South African publication called The New Age. "The orb was created by fuel or propellant released by the rocket's second stage," Mr Roberts shared. The NBC News space analyst James Oberg, on the other hand, explained via email: "This release by chance coincided with sunset beneath that part of the orbit, as the booster and its deployed satellites flew from south to north directly over Madagascar, about 850 miles high. Sunlight set the cloud of rocket fuel aglow."
In Ben Brockert's Tumblr post, the rocket scientist speculated that the fuel release might be related to a reported abnormality in the attempted restart of the second-stage Falcon 9 rocket engine. Mr Brocket's blog further revealed that one of the missions on the Falcon 9 was the Drag and Atmospheric Neutral Density Explorer (DANDE) designed and built in Colorado with "Two Line Elements" posted at their Web site after the launch giving the orbital details of the satellite.
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