Space & Astronomy
Discarded rocket has collided with the Moon
By T.K. Randall
March 7, 2022 · 12 comments
Rocket parts can turn up in the unlikeliest of places. Image Credit: NASA / Sean Smith
The rocket is thought to have hit the Moon's far side after being tracked over the course of several years.
Space debris is fast becoming a major problem, prompting efforts in recent years to ensure that defunct rockets, spaceships and satellites are either carefully de-orbited or burnt up in the planet's atmosphere rather than being left to endlessly clog up Earth's orbit.
In this particular case, however, the space junk in question has instead ended up a little further afield.
First spotted in 2015, the three-ton object is thought to be either part of a Chinese space mission or an early SpaceX mission (as things stand nobody actually knows for sure which it is.)
It is now thought to have struck the far side of the Moon, however this has yet to be officially confirmed.
If true, it will have left a small crater and will likely just sit there on the surface indefinitely unless future space explorers make an effort to remove it.
"It's important to keep an eye on what's [in orbit]," said Prof Hugh Lewis from the University of Southampton. "It's the mess we've created."
"Objects that we think are safe can actually return to Earth unexpectedly."
Source: BBC News
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