SpaceX Rocket On Collision Course With Moon
A SpaceX rocket launched seven years ago is on a collision course for the moon, according to Ars Technica.
The Falcon 9 rocket, initially launched from Florida in early 2015, completed an interplanetary mission to send a space weather satellite to a Sun-Earth LaGrange point around 900,000 miles from Earth.
But after completing the mission and sending NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory into deep orbit, the rocket’s second stage ran out of fuel and has been in a disorderly orbit ever since.
Bill Gray, who develops software to track near-Earth objects, said the Falcon 9 rocket would impact the moon’s far side, near the equator, in early March.
Gray wrote in a blog post that the Falcon 9’s second stage “made a close lunar flyby on January 5” and will make “a certain impact at March 4”.
“This is the first unintentional case [of space junk hitting the moon] of which I am aware,” Gray added.
The Falcon 9’s second stage, weighing in at four metric tons, will hit the moon at a velocity of about 2.58 km/s.
The exact area of impact is still unknown to Gray. He added the collision might not be visible from Earth because “the bulk of the moon is in the way, and even if it were on the near side, the impact occurs a couple of days after New Moon.”
We can already see future problems if governments and tech companies want to create moon bases, is that a threat of space junk could jeopardize operations.
Does that mean future moon bases need laser weapon systems to prevent collisions from space debris?