(ORDO NEWS) — Last month, scientists from NASA reported that an asteroid, codenamed 2020 SO, is moving towards our planet. After a while, experts determined that this was not a natural object at all, but an element of an American rocket that was launched 54 years ago.
The element turned out to be the top stage of the Centaur launch vehicle, which was used to deliver the Surveyor 2 to the Moon in 1966. Suddenly, one engine of the lander failed, so it crashed into a natural satellite of the Earth. The rocket itself managed to fly past the moon and go into orbit around the star.
An object approaching us was spotted in Hawaii and is 8 meters long. The speed of movement is 2.4 thousand km / h, which is several times less than the speed of movement of asteroids. Any doubts about the artificial origin of the object were discarded. Scientists also noted the similarity of the element’s circular orbit with the earth’s orbit, which also betrays the man-made object.
The element moves in the same plane with our planet, although such a phenomenon is impossible in the case of asteroids (asteroids fly at different angles).
The fast approaching object will help scientists create a map of its orbit, as well as figure out how radiation and thermal radiation affect the movement of the debris. Centaur is a kind of empty tin can, which should be minimally influenced by these forces.
When will the maximum approach of a part of the rocket to the Earth, experts do not say. We can only say that the wait is not long.
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