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Home » NASA Baffled As Spacecraft Of Unknown Origin Leaves Mystery Double Crater On Moon

NASA Baffled As Spacecraft Of Unknown Origin Leaves Mystery Double Crater On Moon

NASA has said a mystery spacecraft crashed into the moon and left an unusual ‘double crater’ on the lunar surface. The impact from the rocket of unknown origin happened on March 4 this year and the space agency has shared images this week

The space agency had spotted a “mystery rocket body” heading towards the moon late last year, and NASA’s lunar reconnaissance orbiter spotted two craters after impact. The eastern crater was around 18m in diameter and this was on top of a western crater about 16m in diameter.

This created a double crater roughly 28 meters wide in the longest dimension, with NASA saying: “The double crater was unexpected and may indicate that the rocket body had large masses at each end.

“Typically a spent rocket has mass concentrated at the motor end; the rest of the rocket stage mainly consists of an empty fuel tank. Since the origin of the rocket body remains uncertain, the double nature of the crater may indicate its identity.”

It said that no other rocket body that had hit the moon had caused double craters, including from four Apollo missions 13, 14, 15 and 17 which were all substantially larger.

Independent astronomer Bill Gray identified the collision course in January and suggested it was likely to be the third stage of a Chinese rocket that sent a test sample capsule to the moon and back in 2014. But Chinese officials said the upper stage had re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and burned up.

CNN reported that as there is no officially tracking of space debris so far from Earth, confusion over this moon impact has shown the need for official monitoring of junk in deep space.