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29th Jun 2022

NASA shares images of unidentified spacecraft crashed on Moon

April Curtin

A rocket body impacted the Moon on March 4, 2022, near Hertzsprung crater, creating a double crater roughly 28 meters wide in the longest dimension. LROC NAC M1407760984R; image enlarged 3x Credits: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

One astronomer is convinced he knows who it belongs to

NASA has shared images of a mystery spacecraft that crashed into the Moon – one that nobody has come forward to claim so far.

The vehicle left two huge craters, which the space organisation described as “unexpected”.

The rocket body crashed into the Moon on March 4, travelling at around 5km per second. A crater was later spotted by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Confirming the news on Friday, NASA explained: “Surprisingly the crater is actually two craters, an eastern crater (18-meter diameter, about 19.5 yards) superimposed on a western crater (16-meter diameter, about 17.5 yards).

“The double crater was unexpected and may indicate that the 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.”

The space agency also said: “Since the origin of the rocket body remains uncertain, the double nature of the crater may indicate its identity.”

While the spacecraft is yet to be claimed, Astronomer Bill Gray believes he knows where the spacecraft came from.

Speaking to the BBC last year shortly after the rocket was identified, he said: “I’m 99.9 percent sure it’s the China 5-T1,” though China has denied this claim.

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