Musk under fire as rogue SpaceX rocket on course to hit MOON – predicted impact time | Science | News

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Experts have predicted that the spacecraft, which was launched in 2015, will hit the Moon on March 4. The second stage of a Falcon 9 has been floating in space for seven years in a somewhat chaotic orbit. In 2015, Mr. Musk’s SpaceX launched its first-ever deep-space mission, carrying the Deep Space Climate Observatory on a journey of a million miles.

After Falcon 9 reached its transfer orbit, its second stage became obsolete as the space weather satellite began its journey to a LaGrange Sun-Earth point.

As the rocket did not have enough fuel to bring itself back to Earth, the four-tonne part of Falcon 9 continued in a chaotic orbit around Earth.

Earlier this month, Bill Gray, an astronomer who writes the widely used Project Pluto software, called on amateur and professional astronomers to make additional observations of the rocket and refine its calculations.

He wrote: “Space junk can be a bit tricky. I have a fairly complete mathematical model of what the Earth, Moon, Sun and planets do and how their gravity affects the object.

“I have a rough idea of ​​how much sunlight is pushing outward on the object, gently pushing it away from the Sun.

“It usually allows me to make predictions with a fair amount of confidence.

“With all the data, we have some impact at March 4, 12:25:39, latitude +4.93, longitude is 233.20, plus or minus a few seconds and a few kilometers.”

Mr Gray noted that this was the first unintentional case of a rocket hitting the Moon.

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Another noted, “Sure, let’s start polluting our Moon for fun.”

Nearly a month ago, Mr Musk faced the wrath of Chinese citizens online after their space station was allegedly forced into evasive action to avoid a collision with satellites.

Chinese citizens went wild on Monday against the tech billionaire’s space ambitions after satellites from Starlink Internet Services, a division of Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX, had two “close encounters” with China’s space station.

According to a document submitted by China to the United Nations space agency, the incidents occurred on July 1 and October 21.

In the papers, Beijing complained about how the near-miss incident “constituted dangers to the life or health of astronauts aboard the Chinese Space Station.”

He said: “For security reasons, the Chinese Space Station took the initiative to conduct an evasive maneuver on the evening of that day to avoid a potential collision between the two spacecraft.”

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