New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: A Space X Falcon 9 rocket that was blasted off in space approx seven years ago is now on its course to hit the moon. The Falcon 9 rocket which was sent into space for a mission in 2015 did not return to Earth after completing its mission because it did not have enough fuel.
The rocket was deployed in 2015 to put into orbit a NASA satellite called the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR).
Since then, the second stage of the rocket, or booster, has been floating in what mathematicians call a chaotic orbit, astronomer Bill Gray said.
It was Gray who calculated the space junk's new collision course with the Moon.
A week after the rocket stage whizzed close to the Moon, Gray observed it again and concluded it would crash into the Moon's dark side on March 4 at more than 5,500 miles per hour (9,000 kilometers per hour).
Gray appealed to the amateur astronomer community to join him in observing the booster, and his conclusion was confirmed.
The exact time and spot of impact may change slightly from his forecast but there is widespread agreement that there will be a collision on the Moon that day.
"I've been tracking junk of this sort for about 15 years. And this is the first unintentional lunar impact that we've had," Gray said.
Meanwhile, Astronomer Jonathan McDowell said that it's possible for other similar impacts have take place.
"There're at least 50 objects that were left in deep Earth orbit in the '60s, '70s, and '80s that were just abandoned there. We didn't track them," he said.
"Now we're picking up a couple of them... but a lot of them we're not finding and so they're not there anymore," he added. "Probably at least a few of them hit the moon accidentally and we just didn't notice."
Spacecraft have been intentionally crashed into the Moon before for scientific purposes, such as during the Apollo missions to test seismometers. But according to Jonathan it will be the first known uncontrolled rocket collision with the moon with minor effects.
Posted By: Ashita Singh