Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A piece of space junk that crashed down on a California walnut orchard has been identified as a fuel tank from a satellite.
The Kings County Sheriff's Office said the owner of the orchard in Hanford found the large metal object Saturday morning and investigators reached out to Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County.
The Air Force base did some research into the object and determined it was likely a fuel tank from a communications satellite owned by mobile satellite communications company Iridium.
Deputies reached out to Iridium and a company representative determined the fuel tank was from Iridium Satellite #70, which was launched into space in late 1997 or early 1998.
Iridium, which took custody of the fuel tank, said it was the first piece recovered from one of the company's satellites after reentering the atmosphere.