NASA shares images of unidentified spacecraft crashed on Moon 1 month ago

NASA shares images of unidentified spacecraft crashed on Moon

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.

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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.

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A rocket body impacted the Moon on March 4, creating a double crater roughly 28 meters wide in the longest dimension. (Photo: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University) A rocket body impacted the Moon on March 4, creating a double crater roughly 28 meters wide in the longest dimension. (Photo: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University)

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."

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The crater formed (5.226 degrees north, 234.486 degrees east, 1,863 meters elevation) in a complex area where the impact of ejecta from the Orientale basin event overlies the degraded northeast rim of Hertzsprung basin (536 kilometers diameter). The new crater is not visible in this view, but its location is indicated by the white arrow. LROC WAC mosaic, 110 kilometers width. (Credits: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University) The new crater is not visible in this view but its location is indicated by the white arrow (Credits: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University)

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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