A 3-Ton Mysterious Rocket Body Allegedly Just Crashed Into the Far Side of the Moon

Moon 6 photos
Photo: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
MoonMoonMoonMoonOver half a million pieces of man-made space debris circling the Earth
A dead rocket body traveling at 9,288 kph (5,771 mph) has reportedly slammed into the Moon. The origin of this errant chunk of a spacecraft is still not clear.
The rogue space junk was first identified as the upper stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was launched in 2015 with the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite on board by Bill Gray, an astronomer, and developer of the asteroid-tracking program Project Pluto.

He predicted that the debris would hit the Moon after traveling through space for seven years. However, upon further research, Gray concluded that a piece of SpaceX's rocket would not have ended up that near our natural satellite.

After some additional calculations, the astronomer found that the object's course is similar to the orbit of the upper stage of the rocket that carried China's Chang'e 5-T1 mission into space in 2014. However, China denies being responsible. Thus, its origin is still up for debate.

Scientists have predicted that the 15-metre-long (49-ft-long) object, which weighs around 3 tons, would hit the far side of the Moon (the satellite's face that's always hidden from us). This means we can't see the collision.

The dead rocket has reportedly slammed into the Moon on Friday, March 4th, at 7:25 a.m. EST. It ran into the celestial body with an estimated 9,288 kph (5,771 mph), near the 354-mile-wide (570 kilometers) Hertzsprung Crater, suggests Scientific American. The impact will likely leave behind a crater as well.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will look for changes on the lunar surface and compare previous data with new information, the agency told This might take a while until researchers have their results.

Nonetheless, the event raises even more concerns about the space junk that's orbiting Earth. This would be the first time a manmade object has unintentionally crashed into the Moon.

There are more than 23,000 pieces of debris bigger than a softball that circle our planet at 28,163 kph (17,500 mph) speeds and an unknown amount of space junk that's not being monitored. This debris could seriously damage spacecraft and satellites, and it's hard to tell when the next one could strike.
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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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