Wandering in space since 2015, a SpaceX Falcon 9 stage will crash into the moon on March 4

A scientist has discovered that after a 7-year operation in space, a 4-ton stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 will crash into the moon on March 4.

It looks like a version of “Don’t look up”, the Netflix movie where astrophysicists discover that a meteorite is about to crash into the earth. This time it is neither a meteorite nor the earth.

According to Bill Gray, a space object tracking specialist, the second stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, launched into space on February 11, 2015, will crash into the far side of the moon. The moon landing is scheduled for March 4. It won’t go smoothly. This 4-ton element will crash on the lunar surface at a speed of 2.58 km/second.

Bill Gray made this discovery thanks to his Project Pluto, a software developed to track space objects such as near-Earth cruisers, asteroids or comets. But he didn’t think he could track this Falcon X scene in operation for 7 years now. Normally, this element is launched by a rocket into a heliocentric orbit to keep it far away from Earth and the Moon.

“I have a pretty complete mathematical model of what the earth, the moon, the sun and the planets are doing and how their gravity affects the object. I have a rough idea of ​​how much sunlight is pushing outward on the object, gently moving it away. from the sun. It allows me to make these predictions with a good amount of confidence,” says Bill Gray.

The consequences of the impact

To confirm this scenario, the researcher invited amateurs and professional astronomers to observe the trajectory of this space debris and share their information about a blog created to follow this event. Together they seek to know the exact time of the impact and the exact place where it will occur. In France, Christophe Demeautis, a French amateur astronomer, published a web page to follow the event.

Bill Gray is sure What damage will he cause? This will depend on the autumn course. “These effects are still unpredictable,” admits the researcher. The consequences of the crash will be observed by two satellites orbiting the Moon. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and India’s Chandrayaan-2 could collect data on the crater created by the impact and study the moon’s geology in depth, but Bill Gray doubts they are in the right place at the right time. He also doubts that the US and India will release funds to hijack their satellites.

For Bill Gray, this accidental crash is the first, but he fears such incidents will happen again.

“In theory, such objects could one day hit the moon, but also the earth, if they are not flung around the sun thanks to the energy gained by passing near the moon”, states Bill Gray.

While waiting for the crash, Elon Musk has yet to comment on Twitter about this unforeseen phenomenon. But on social networks, hundreds of posts follow the trajectory of his rocket. Some are curious or concerned, but others mock the SpaceX boss by comparing this crash to the cryptocurrencies he regularly endorses on his twitter account.

Others wonder where the Tesla that was sent into space on February 6, 2018 is and if it was just a crash test. The latest news is that the convertible has left Mars orbit and is believed to be about 360 million kilometers from Earth.

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