On March 4, 2022, scientists projected a possible rocket crash on the moon.
So, what happened, exactly? Everything you need to know is right here.
On March 4, 2022, what happened to the moon?
At 7:25 a.m. ET on March 4, 2022, a rocket portion impacted the moon, confirming forecasts.
The “rogue rocket” is alleged to have created a plume of dust that lasted “for hours” after the accident was not visible to humans.
After crashing onto the moon’s far side, orbiters were unable to watch the rocket come down.
The rocket “smashed into the moon’s far side in a 350-mile-wide Hertzsprung crater,” according to National Geographic.
The rocket, according to astronomers, would generate a 65-foot-wide crater, but the area of impact would be invisible to Earth’s observatories.
“NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will use its cameras to try to locate the impact site and analyze any potential changes to the lunar environment as a result of this object’s impact,” a Nasa spokeswoman said.
The search for the impact crater will be difficult and time-consuming, perhaps weeks or months.”
The rocket, which was reportedly moving at 5,800 miles per hour, was entirely destroyed.
It’s the first known case of an unintended collision with human-made debris.
Previously, space agencies have smashed spacecraft into the moon to destroy them.
Where did the rocket come from?
The origin of the debris has remained a mystery.
Before it was discredited, it was thought to be a part of Elon Musk’s SpaceX adventure.
Since then, it’s been speculated that the rocket may have been part of China’s Chang’e 5-T1 mission, which launched in late 2014.
“Back in 2015, I (mis)identified this object as 2015-007B, the second stage of the DSCOVR mission,” astronomer Bill Gray wrote in February 2022, after first noticing the junk was on a collision course with the moon.
We now have strong proof that it is indeed 2014-065B, the Chang’e 5-T1 lunar mission’s rocket.“
“According to China’s monitoring, the top stage of the Chang’e-5 mission rocket has fallen through the Earth’s atmosphere in a safe manner and burned up completely,” Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated.
The Chinese rocket body, on the other hand, “never de-orbited,” according to the US Space Command.
“We cannot confirm the country of origin of the rocket body that may collide with the moon,” they stated.