(ORDO NEWS) — Expert astronomers say they previously made the mistake of thinking that the rocket fragment that is supposed to crash into the moon in early March was built by SpaceX, when in fact it is a Chinese rocket.
This rocket will indeed crash into the lunar surface on March 4, but contrary to what was announced, it was not built by Elon Musk’s company, but by the Celestial Empire, experts now say.
The rocket, now listed as 2014-065B, was the upper stage of the Chang’e-5 spacecraft launched in 2014 as part of the Chinese space agency’s lunar exploration program.
This amazing report was made by astronomer Bill Gray, who first pointed out the possibility of this future collision and then admitted his mistake over the weekend.
“This (mistake) only highlights the problem of insufficiently careful tracking of these space objects,” astronomer Jonathan McDowell, who is an advocate of tighter space debris management legislation, tweeted.
“This object was as bright as we expected and was in the expected orbit at the expected time,” he wrote in his post.
But “if I look back, I should have noticed a few oddities” associated with its orbit, he added.
NASA announced in late January that it would attempt to observe the crater that would form from the object’s explosion with the agency’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) orbiting lunar probe.
The agency called the event “an amazing opportunity for new research.”
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