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Saturday, November 26, 2022

The ‘mystery rocket’ that hit the moon created two craters on the lunar surface: NASA

In March this year, a rocket body hit the Moon. The object was observed to be moving towards the lunar collision rate last year.

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has spotted a crater on the Moon — which is actually two craters — as a result of an impact on March 4. The fact that the rocket body left behind a “double crater” indicates that it was not an average rocket. , Since the rocket’s crash, none of Earth’s space-exploring nations have claimed responsibility for the mysterious projectile. This has left NASA scientists wondering who was behind the launch.

Massive crowds can be found at each end in The Mystery Rocket

NASA said on its website that the eastern crater is 18 meters in diameter and is superimposed on the western crater of 16 meters in diameter.

Astronomers did not expect that the crater would be a double crater. It could have been formed because the ‘mystery rocket’ had a massive amount of mass at each end. A spent rocket consists mostly of mass concentrated at the end of the motor, while the rest of the rocket stage consists primarily of an empty fuel tank. The dual nature of the crater may indicate the identity of the mystery rocket.

The mystery rocket collided with the Moon near Hertzsprung Crater, an impact crater on the Moon’s far side.

According to an article published by LiveScience, images captured by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show that wayward debris somehow punched two overlapping craters when it was traveling at about 9,290 kilometers per hour on the far side of the Moon. was.

Mystery object may be part of China’s Chang’e 5-T1 rocket

As LiveScience reports, American astronomer Bill Gray predicted that the orbiting piece of space junk would arrive on the far side of the Moon in a matter of months.

After seeing the wreckage for the first time, Gray suggested it was the second stage of a Falcon X rocket launched in 2015. However, they later speculated that the object was the spent upper stage of China’s Chang’e 5-T1 rocket, a spacecraft named after the Chinese moon goddess and launched in 2014. Chinese officials disagreed with this theory, claiming that the upper stage of the rocket had burned up in Earth’s atmosphere several years earlier.

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Experts have predicted that the abandoned rocket stage hit the lunar surface on March 4 at 7:25 a.m. EST (4:55 a.m. IST) at Hertzsprung Crater, the far side of the Moon.

According to the LiveScience article, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will likely have documented the hundreds of miles high lunar dust plume that was deployed to capture the impact.

Examination of the craters is unlikely to reveal major clues about their controversial origins as the rocket booster probably completely disintegrated upon impact. After the images were released, Gray wrote on his blog that the object “has been identified quite conclusively as a Chang’e 5-Ti booster”.

Mystery object first seen in 2015

In March 2015, Gray made his first prediction that the controversial debris would hit the Moon. It was in March 2015 that the debris was seen colliding with space.

The mystery object has been assigned the provisional name WE0913A. The Catalina Sky Survey, an array of telescopes near Tucson, Arizona, was the first to find the object. Gray believed that the object was man-made because it was not orbiting the Sun, but instead orbiting the Earth, unlike an asteroid.

How the upper stage of Chang’e 5-T1 could have made the crater

Gray thought the crater might have formed from the upper stage of Chang’e 5-T1 in China. The mission was launched in October 2014 as part of an initial mission to send a test capsule to the Moon and back. When Chinese Foreign Ministry officials denied their claims of space junk, and said that the rocket burned up on its return trip to Earth, US experts suggested that officials could use the same information from the 2020 mission for the 2014 rocket. The rocket may have been confused with the type. Experts said that the rocket of 2014 could have hit the Moon.

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The US Department of Defense’s Space Command, which tracks space junk in low-Earth orbit, issued a statement on March 1 claiming that China’s 2014 rocket never deviated.

According to the LiveScience article, Gray stated that an amateur radio satellite or CubeSat was attached to Chang’e 5-T1 for the first 19 days of its flight, and that the trajectory data sent back from that satellite was completely consistent with the current trajectory of the rocket debris. matches. ,

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies confirmed Gray’s analysis of orbital data, the article said. In addition, University of Arizona researchers analyzed the light spectrum reflected by paint on the crashed debris and identified the rocket as part of the Chang’e 5-T1 mission.

Gray believes that space-faring agencies and private companies should develop better procedures to track the rockets they send into deep space, and that could lead to mistaking such objects for asteroids dangerous to Earth. will be considered.

Past examples of man-made satellites hitting the Moon

Although there have been rocket body impacts on the Moon in the past, none of them produced double craters. At least 47 NASA rocket bodies have made a “spacecraft impact” on the Moon, according to 2016 data from Arizona State University.

NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite was purposely fired at the Moon’s south pole in 2009 at a speed of 9,000 kilometers per hour. This resulted in a plume that enabled scientists to trace the chemical signals of the water ice. NASA deliberately influenced to destroy the Saturn V rockets of the Apollo program on the Moon.

The four craters created by the Apollo S-IVB stages were somewhat irregular in outline and each was much larger than a double crater. These craters were created as a result of missions 13, 14, 15 and 17. The maximum width of the double crater was close to that of S-IVB.

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