The wreckage of a Chinese rocket made two craters on the far side of the moon. NASA showed their photo
An unexpected surprise is that the impact formed two craters that merged together – the western one with a diameter of 18 meters and the eastern one with a diameter of 16 meters.
This unusual configuration has not been observed in previous impacts of rockets on the Moon (for example, craters formed during the deliberate impact of the upper stages of rockets during the Apollo missions).
“The double crater was unexpected and may indicate that the rocket body had a large mass at both ends,” NASA writes.
“Typically, a spent rocket has a mass concentrated at the end of the engine; the rest of the rocket stage consists mainly of an empty fuel tank.
Since the origin of the rocket body remains uncertain, the dual nature of the crater may indicate its identity.”
Although the impact itself did not cause much damage to the Moon and scientists did not consider it a serious problem, he pointed to the growing problem of space debris.
When debris floats in orbit around the Earth, such as old malfunctioning satellites or decommissioned rocket stages, it makes it difficult to send new satellites and endangers people in space – for example, on the ISS, which often has to maneuver to avoid debris.
On March 4 of this year, the booster of a Chinese rocket crashed into the lunar surface. This is a relatively rare case of collision of terrestrial technology with a natural satellite…
On March 4 of this year, the booster of a Chinese rocket crashed into the lunar surface. This is a relatively rare case of collision of terrestrial technology with a natural satellite of our planet.
The crash site has now been photographed by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, an image revealing craters formed during the impact.
Astronomers originally assumed that the artificial body pointing toward the surface of the Moon came from Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX.
Further investigation, however, revealed that it was a booster from the Long March 3C rocket, which embarked on its journey as part of the Chang’e 5-T1 mission in 2014.
Although Chinese officials have denied that the object belonged to them, evidence of its composition suggests that it is indeed part of a Chinese missile.