A group of students confirmed that the stage of the rocket, which should hit the moon next month, is a Chinese launcher Long March, and not SpaceX Falcon 9, as originally intended.
Rocket hull, from Art Chang’e 5-T1 missionMarch 4, more than seven years after launch in October 2014, crash into the opposite side of the moon. Initially, the object was mistakenly identified as a top degree SpaceX The Falcon 9 rocket that launched Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite in February 2015.
“We took a spectrum that can detect the material composition of the facility and compared it to Chinese rockets and SpaceX rockets of similar types … it corresponds to a Chinese rocket,” said Vishnu Redi, head and associate professor at the University of Arizona. -manages the school laboratory for space exploration, – said c statement Tuesday (February 15).
“This is the best match, and we have the best evidence so far,” Reddy added of the new observations that coincide. independent work unveiled a few days ago. Arizona team students include Grace Halferty, Adam Bethle and Tanner Campbell.
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The original, erroneous identification of the rocket hull as the upper stage of the Falcon 9 was given to Bill Gray, who manages Project Pluto software used to track near-Earth objects.
He is published an explanation Saturday (February 12) about its rationale for the initial identification of the missile as part of the Falcon 9.
“I and others came to accept the identification with the second stage [of Falcon 9] “That’s right,” Gray wrote.
However, Gray added that the initial evidence was not convincing. And on Saturday, he said, he received a note from John Georgini, an engineer from NASA’s Southern California Jet Propulsion Laboratory, stating that after the launch of DSCOVR the trajectory is not so close to the moon. After further research, Gray wrote, he was convinced that the rocket aimed at the moon was actually from China. Chang’e 5-T1 missionthe predecessor of the more famous Chang’e Mission 5 who returned a sample of the Moon to Earth in 2020.
University of Arizona students confirmed this new work by Gray and others with help RAPTORS systems, a telescope on top of the Kuiper Space School building.
The group, however, conducted its observations on the night of Jan. 21 to Feb. 7 before Gray released his correction message. “They estimated that it would strike somewhere in the Herzsprung crater or near the other side of the moon,” the university said.
“We don’t often have the ability to track what we know will get to the moon ahead of time,” Campbell added in a statement. Campbell is a graduate student in aerospace and mechanical engineering who has been working with Reddy since 2017.
“There is a particular interest in how impact creates craters. It’s also interesting in terms of orbital forecasting because it moves between the Earth and the Moon without motion,” Campbell added. “It’s just an inert rocket hull that rushes around its own energy and solar radiation pressure, so we can evaluate our models and see how good our forecasts are.”
The University of Arizona team has also been tracking other space objects for years, including the now-defunct Chinese Space Station. Qiangong 1 which came out of the artery in 2018, part of the Atlas rocket, which launched the NASA Surveyor 2 mission in 1966, and the 22-ton Chinese mission Long March 5B rocket which fell uncontrollably to Earth in 2021.
https://www.space.com/rocket-poised-strike-moon-is-chinese-students-confirm Student observations confirm that the rocket, ready to hit the moon, is Chinese, not SpaceX Falcon 9