WASHINGTON: A chunk of a SpaceX rocket that blasted off seven years ago and was abandoned in space after completing its mission will crash into the Moon on March 4, according to an expert’s calculation.
The rocket was employed in 2015 to put in orbit a Nasa satellite, called the Deep Space Climate Observatory.
Since then the second stage of the rocket, or booster, has been floating in what mathematicians call a chaotic orbit, astronomer Bill Gray said on Wednesday.
It was Gray who calculated the space junk’s new collision course with the Moon.
The booster passed by pretty close to the Moon this month in a rendezvous that altered its orbit, said Gray.
He is behind Project Pluto, software that allows for calculating the trajectory of asteroids and other things in space and is used in Nasa-financed space observation programmes.
Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2022