For several years, an abandoned rocket has been flying through space. Today it is believed that it hit the Moon at almost 9,000 kilometers per hour. Experts provide information on the origin and consequences of the collision.
For the first time, a piece of space debris accidentally collides with the moon. The abandoned rocket, which has been loitering unchecked in space for several years, crashed this afternoon on the far side of the Moon.
For a long time it was unclear where the fragment came from and who was responsible for the collision. In the meantime, however, experts agree that they have found the origin of the rocket and are providing answers to open questions.
Elon Musk was under suspicion
American space expert Bill Gray first suspected that the rocket was part of a Falcon 9 that had been launched into space by Elon Musk’s Space X space company in early 2015.
The European space agency ESA later slammed Musk’s company, accusing him of causing unnecessary space debris.
However, according to new studies, experts working with Bill Gray now agree that the part of the rocket that flies is not a Falcon rocket, but fragments from a Chinese lunar mission.
Chinese lunar mission Chang’e 5-T1
In October 2014, as part of its lunar program, the Chinese Space Agency launched a launch vehicle with the Chang’e 5-T1 probe to orbit the moon and then return to Earth.
However, American scientists assume that after orbiting the moon, a rocket stage did not recede into Earth’s atmosphere as planned, but instead remained in space and has been exposed to the gravitational forces of the sun, moon, and Earth. land ever since.
The US aerospace agency NASA has also backed this theory, but the Chinese government has denied these findings and denied any involvement.
Impact on the far side of the moon
The space debris was already approaching the moon in early January, but it flew by at a distance of about 9,000 kilometers. However, this changed the rocket’s orbit so much that it ended up on a collision course with the moon.
Gray timed the collision between the rocket and the Moon for this Friday afternoon around 1:25 p.m. Central European Time.
However, the event could not be observed from Earth because the collapse took place on the far side of the moon. According to experts, the impact was accompanied by a strong flash of light, a huge whirlpool of dust and rocks that flew hundreds of kilometers away.
Will the moon be affected?
However, the impact of the rocket, which travels at a speed of almost 8,900 kilometers per hour, will not have a major impact on the nature or condition of the satellite. There will only be one other lunar crater, estimated to be only ten to 30 meters wide and two to three meters deep.
More than 300,000 craters are known on the Earth-only side of the moon, some with a diameter of more than a kilometer. Given the damage caused by much larger celestial bodies, today’s emerging crater is little more than a small dent.
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