An old SpaceX rocket is about to hit the moon

DSCOVR observatory launched on February 11, 2015

DSCOVR observatory launched on February 11, 2015
Photo: NOAA

The second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, which launched in February 2015, will hit the lunar surface on March 4, according to calculations by famous astronomers such as Bill Gray s Jonathan McDowell.

The four-ton object, called 2015-007B, was left orbiting between Earth and the Moon after the launch of NOAA’s DSCOVR Observatory, operating from point L1 Lagrange, more than 1 million kilometers from our planet.

DSCOVR was SpaceX’s first “interplanetary” mission. For a successful satellite entry, the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket must reach very High, running out of fuel to return to Earth’s atmosphere and without kinetic energy to escape the Earth-Moon system.

As a result, the rocket’s debris was following an irregular path that astronomers say will produce an impact on the moon, likely on March 4 at 12:25 UTC. Astronomers cannot be certain because many variables, such as the pressure of sunlight on the rover, can cause changes in its orbit.

This will be the first time an artificial object has inadvertently hit the lunar surface. It was Soft landing on the moon s Hard landing on the moon In the history of space exploration, but the upper stages of the rocket usually disintegrate in the Earth’s atmosphere or are launched into orbit around the Sun and keep it away from the Earth and the Moon.

In lunar orbit, all three things can happen: the body returns to Earth, collides with the moon, or sees its path turbulent for some reason and begins to revolve around the sun. It is an unstable orbit.

2015-007B will hit the far side of the Moon at 2.58 km/h. Hopefully, India’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Chandrayaan-2 will be able to capture images of the impact crater from lunar orbit. Perhaps they will obtain the scientific data that will complete the LCROSS 2009 mission, when NASA Deliberately dropping a rocket into the moon To study debris from the explosion.

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