Expected rocket crash on Moon has occurred plenty of times

An out-of-control chunk of rocket is expected to crash into the Moon tomorrow.

The rocket booster, which is about the size of a school bus, has been a worrisome piece of space debris for around eight years now.

The new rocket was first spotted by Bill Gray, who writes the popular Project Pluto software to track near-Earth objects.

He reported that the junk was a SpaceX Falcon 9 upper stage launched from Florida in February 2015.

However, Bill later retracted his claim and said the rocket part most likely belonged to China. China has since denied the accusation.

Whoever the chunk of rocket belongs to, it’s about to do some damage to the lunar surface.

There’s no need to worry for the Moon though, it’s actually been the victim of multiple space debris crashes.

Luna 2

The Soviet Union’s Luna 2 is thought to be the first manmade spacecraft to crash into the Moon.

This happened in 1959, eight months after the failed mission of Luna 1.

A diagram showcasing the engine and solar panel parts of the Soviet Union’s Luna 2.Sovfoto/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesThe Soviet Union’s Luna 1, launched in 1959, attempted to pass close to the Moon.NASA/RKK EnergiyaThe Soviet Union’s Luna 1 is still floating around space to this day.QAI Publishing/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesLuna 1 was supposed to reach the Moon but it missed and is still floating in space somewhere.

India’s Chandrayaan-2 Moon lander

Every Moon mission comes with the risk of crashing something into the Moon.

This happened with India’s Chandrayaan-2 Moon lander, also called Vikram.

The lander lost communication with Earth and crashed into the lunar surface in September 2019.

Asteroid tracker Bill Gray first predicted that parts of a rocket booster are projected to land on the Moon.David TroodIt was supposed to descend gently onto the Moon’s south pole but crash landed by accident.

Nasa’s Snoopy module

The US space agency has also been responsible for crashing items into the Moon.

Apollo 10 dropped half of its Snoopy module onto the Moon in May 1969.

Nasa also intentionally crashed its LCROSS mission into the Moon in 2009.

It’s unlikely the Moon has suffered too much from all these crashes but it does have a few more craters.

The Moon has long dealt with space junk collisions dating back to 1969.Pablo Carbonero / 500pxIn other news, Nasa has revealed some very important dates for Moon missions that should be happening this year.

Pulverizing asteroids could be humanity’s only chance of avoiding a similar doomsday event to the dinosaurs, scientists claim.

And, we looked into what would happen if you died in space.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.

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