An ancient piece of rocket is set to crash into the moon, and it was previously thought to be the second stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 spacecraft that launched a NASA satellite called the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) into orbit. Now, astronomers have corrected the information and indicated that it was in fact a Chinese motive, from the 2014 launch of a rocket on the Chang’e 5-T1 mission (although China denies this).
It is estimated that it will collide with the Moon at about 9,288 km/h, which is very close to the place and time that was predicted, on March 4, 2022 at 12:25 UTC. It is about 12 meters long and weighs 4,500 kilograms. However, no one seems interested in learning who the rocket is, at first it was said to be from SpaceX and now Chinese, But they both denied ownership.
The world Bill Gray, an independent researcher and software developer that tracks near-Earth objects, and colleagues at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory say they misidentified the object and now have strong evidence that it’s a booster for the Chang’e 5-moon mission. T1.
The information was confirmed by Arizona students at the university’s Space Sphere Awareness Laboratory at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. “We’ve taken a spectrum (which can reveal the physical makeup of an object) and compare it to Chinese rockets and SpaceX rockets of similar types, and it matches the Chinese rocket,” Assistant Professor UArizona Vishnu Reddy, who co-directs the Space Field Knowledge Lab with engineering professor Roberto Forfaro. “This is the best match and we have the best possible guide now.”
If you are wondering to see the event, Bill Gray books Earlier, “Unfortunately, observations will be essentially impossible until February 7, when the object is at low elongation. Then we will have a brief viewing window of a day or two, during which it is bright, close and moving quickly. The observations should allow us to determine the point of impact. At a range of a kilometer or so, it’s probably better…which is good, because from February 10 to March 4 you’ll be back at low elongations and we won’t see anything.”
Although it will not be possible to observe the impact from Earth, there are satellites in orbit around the Moon that can. Satellites such as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter or India’s Chandrayaan-2 will only have to synchronize, and the odds of their appearance in time are very low. Maybe they could make a maneuver and pull the thing, which wouldn’t happen if it was deemed unimportant. But it will leave a crater that scientists can look at later and learn more about the moon’s geology.
Should this matter to us? The short answer is not at all (at least for the time being). The Moon is constantly being hit, not by rockets, of course, but by objects from interstellar space, which are getting bigger and faster and leaving noticeable craters.
Finally, this isn’t the first time something man-made has hit the moon. In 2009, this was done by a NASA satellite, albeit on purpose to detect the main signs of water ice. Gray says the ancient piece of Falcon 9 will mark the first unintended impact on the moon.
It is worth insisting that the effect does not represent any harm to the moon or to anyone. Despite this, the concern about an increase in space debris should not be ignored as it could pose a serious problem in the future.
“The upcoming lunar collision illustrates well the need for a comprehensive regulatory regime in space, not only for economically important orbits around the Earth, but also applicable to the Moon,” He said Holger Kraj, head of the Space Safety Program at the European Space Agency.
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