Old SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Expected To Hit The Moon
In 2015, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket to put the NOAA Deep Space Climate Observatory into orbit. The observatory eventually made its way to the Lagrange point to conduct its observations. Typically, Falcon 9 rockets are recovered to be reused again in future launches, but in this instance, the rocket didn’t have enough fuel to return home.
The rocket has been following what is described as a “chaotic” orbit since its launch in February 2015. While the rocket lacked the fuel to return to Earth, it also lacked the energy needed to escape the gravity of the sun and moon.
Observers now believe the derelict rocket, weighing about four metric tons, is on a collision course with the moon. They expect that the rocket will impact the moon’s surface at a rate of 2.58km/s in the next several weeks.
Specifically, observers believe that the rocket will impact the moon on March 4. The event is expected to be the first unintentional impact of space junk with the moon in history. It’s unclear exactly where the rocket will impact the moon, but more precise calculations can be made closer to March 4.