According to a NASA statement, a rocket of unknown origin crashed into the Moon on March 4, leaving an enigmatic double crater.
What happened on March 4 on the surface of the Moon? According to a NASA statement released on June 24, an unidentified rocket exploded on our satellite leaving not one but two craters, which further adds to the mystery: “The first crater, to the east, is 18 meters in diameter , and the second, 16 meters. This double crater, located on the far side of the Moon near the Hertzsprung crater, was unexpected. No other known projectile has ever left this type of double impact,” specifies the American Space Agency. There is no doubt for astronomers that it was indeed an artificial object and, in all likelihood, of terrestrial origin. NASA has tallied 47 rocket impacts or rocket debris since 2016.
This object was not a complete unknown for the scientists. A team of independent astronomers led by Bill Gray tracked it for months before the crash and calculations of its trajectory predicted that it would eventually crash into the Moon.
However, it remains very difficult to determine its origin with certainty. Several hypotheses have been put forward: Bill Gray’s team estimated that it could be part ofa Space X rocket launched in 2015 but the company founded by Elon Musk has denied. Changing their tune, astronomers suspected a Chinese rocket, Chang’e 5-T1, launched in 2014. But again, China denied assuring that the machine had completely burned in the atmosphere while falling back to earth . In short, no one accepts responsibility for this event.
However, there is a clue that may help identify this projectile: the double crater. The unusual characteristics of the impact suggest that the rocket was also of a very particular design: “It had a heavy mass at each of its ends, which is not the norm” assures NASA. Usually, classic rockets have a heavy base that contains the engine, while the tip where the empty tank is located after takeoff, is much lighter. Why did the craft that crashed on the Moon on March 4 present this curious anomaly? This is a question to which for the moment NASA offers no answer…