Sonic Boom From Returning SpaceX Capsule Rattles Escambia County

May 31, 2023

A sonic boom heard and felt across Escambia County and surrounding areas Tuesday night was caused a SpaceX Dragon capsule and Ax-2 crew returning to earth. After passing over the area, the capsule successfully slashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off Panama City.

After the boom rattled the area shortly after 10 p.m., Escambia County 911 operators took a large number of calls, and received hundreds of messages from Northwest Florida and South Alabama. Our readers reported what they thought was an explosion.

The capsule was caught in a photo (above) streaking across the sky over Highway 164 west of Highway 29, between McDavid and the Christian Home community.

Pictured above: A SpaceX Dragon capsule streaks across the night sky above Highway 164 between McDavid and the Christian Home community Tuesday night. photo, click to enlarge. Photos below courtesy SpaceX.


27 Responses to “Sonic Boom From Returning SpaceX Capsule Rattles Escambia County”

  1. Jcellops on June 2nd, 2023 6:03 am

    My son, in Cantonment, took a video of it going over. Had us all trying to figure out what the heck it could be. We ruled out meteor and shooting star. Then, with a little research, he figured out it was SpaceX! Pretty cool!

  2. Wow on June 1st, 2023 3:46 pm

    For the people that don’t like this, find another way to show your obvious jealousy. He’s rich period. But he made himself rich, so get to work. If he wants to fly around in space he earned that right, worry about yourselves.

  3. sam on June 1st, 2023 11:37 am

    A little heads up would have been nice.

  4. No one on June 1st, 2023 8:41 am

    So the noise ordinance starts at 10pm in Escambia, and 9PM in Santa Rosa. I’m sure they took that into account for the entire SE when they thought this was a good idea. How many fines were they assessed?

  5. David on June 1st, 2023 8:12 am

    The next time Elon decides to play with his toys, he needs to give everyone in the area a “heads up!”

  6. Lee on June 1st, 2023 2:06 am

    “$15.3 billion in US government subsidies for SpaceX since 2003.”

    That money is not subsidies. It’s for services rendered involving the Space Station.

  7. Time marches on on May 31st, 2023 6:39 pm

    $15.3 billion in US government subsidies for SpaceX since 2003.

    And don’t get me started on Tesla’s money grabs.

  8. Bigblock345 on May 31st, 2023 4:30 pm

    And he’s doing it way cheaper than the .gov, too

  9. Harry Harrison on May 31st, 2023 4:08 pm

    Just a rich kid playing with his toys! Remember the days when it took a major sovereign nation to have enough money to do that? My, how times have changed!

  10. Just_An_Old_Granny on May 31st, 2023 3:38 pm

    It shook my windows here in Century. I didn’t even think of a sonic boom I just thought a big tree fell close to me. I didn’t think it was an emergency or try to call 911.

  11. JJ on May 31st, 2023 1:47 pm

    I am guessing weather changed the flight at the last go around….
    Heard it in Molino and two dogs were wanting out to see

  12. Atomic Chronometer on May 31st, 2023 1:21 pm

    10:03 pm for you civilians… 2203 for the rest of us..

  13. sam on May 31st, 2023 12:53 pm

    slept thru that one.

  14. Debra on May 31st, 2023 10:22 am

    Hubby went out in his boxers and galoshes with a shotgun–pretty dang sure the apocalypse had started without him. Thanks for the info!

  15. Michelle Pope on May 31st, 2023 10:21 am

    Seriously, why wasn’t the landing all over the news, like the Space Shuttle’s before it? That scared the bejesus outta me. My pregnant daughter came running over!
    I thought the house was sinking into a sinkhole, or somethingclose had exploded!
    It was one huge, thunderous bang, then 2 more smaller ones.
    I remember the sonic boom from the Shuttle’s. One time, I was leaving the grocery store when it happened. It shook the store windows, and nearly gave 4-5 ppl outside literal heart attacks. One poor elderly woman burst out screaming and crying.
    I had a time trying to calm her down.
    If Tesla had just let more ppl know,, and the 911 system would not have had thousands of ppl calling to report an explosion. Elon has to do much better than this.

  16. Willis on May 31st, 2023 10:11 am

    For all of you that grabbed your AR and hit the shelter….. maybe next time.
    But hopefully not.

  17. Jerry Ireland on May 31st, 2023 9:50 am

    Thank you for letting us know .
    We can depend on you for news.
    You’re a blessing!!!

  18. EMD on May 31st, 2023 9:45 am

    I was out alone in the dark trying to find the giant limb that fell on my metal roof, and could find nothing that big. It sounded and felt like it was on the roof. I came back inside and heard on local news that many people had reported a BOOM! I was glad my new roof was okay. I did not know a capsule made a boom entering the atmosphere. Do not see how parachutes slow down something going that fast. Wish we were warned.

  19. Big Jim on May 31st, 2023 9:41 am

    Went outside to see what had blown up. Neighbor was in their pasture with a flashlight too. Figured a distant methlab had a work related accident…

  20. John on May 31st, 2023 9:33 am

    I thought it was the boogie man

  21. janice beck on May 31st, 2023 8:49 am

    We thought a large limb had fallen and were wandering around in the dark looking for one.

  22. RaD on May 31st, 2023 8:33 am

    Thanks for the article. I wondered all night what the heck that was.

  23. Mel on May 31st, 2023 8:26 am

    I saw the light in the sky and I hear a lot out in the country I didn’t pay it no mind. I didn’t think that looked like a plane lights. But I didn’t call 911 I’m sure those were some interesting calls

  24. Emily Fouche' on May 31st, 2023 7:51 am

    We live just up from the fair grounds off Blue Angel Pkwy. It was loud, we thought something had hit the roof. It scared my cat and she ran and hid under the bed.

  25. Henry Coe on May 31st, 2023 6:14 am

    Good answer. I thought maybe a big tree in my back yard had fallen, lol.

  26. D. B. on May 31st, 2023 6:05 am

    So that’s what i heard last night! Cool!

  27. J.s on May 31st, 2023 4:37 am

    I heard it here in Bratt fla. I just thought someone was shooting off 2 big boom rounds lol