Runaway SpaceX rocket expected to crash into the moon

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Runaway SpaceX rocket expected to crash into the moon

An errant SpaceX rocket that’s been zipping through space for seven years is expected to finally come crashing down — into the moon.

The upper stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, which became detached from the craft in 2015, is predicted to hit the moon on March 4, the Guardian said in a report.

The hunk of rocket already “made a close lunar flyby on January 5,” said Bill Gray, a data analyst and writer on space-junk issues.

“The bulk of the moon is in the way,” Gray said. “And even if it were on the near side, the impact occurs a couple of days after New Moon.”

He said the rocket section weighs more than 4 tons but is unlikely to make a significant dent on the moon, the outlet said.

The rocket, part of Elon Musk’s space program, launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in February 2015 to deploy a weather satellite, Newsweek reported.

Moon
The Falcon 9 launched in 2015 to deploy a weather satellite but it did not have enough fuel to return to Earth’s orbit. The detached upper section weighs about 4 tons and is not expected to significantly dent the moon.
AP

The runaway section didn’t have the juice to come back into Earth’s orbit and instead went hurtling into space — and toward the moon, the magazine said.

Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer with the Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, confirmed that the rocket will likely hit the moon — but so what?

“For those asking: yes, an old Falcon 9 second stage left in high orbit in 2015 is going to hit the moon on March 4,” McDowell tweeted on Tuesday. “It’s interesting, but not a big deal.”

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