Nasa finds ‘double crater’ on Moon caused by mystery rocket crash

So far, no country has taken responsibility for the rocket and the resulting collision (Picture: Nasa)

A mystery rocket has slammed into the moon leaving behind a double crater as spotted by Nasa.

On March 4, the rocket booster slammed into the moon and Nasa’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) later spotted the resulting damage.

New images taken on May 25 showed the unusual crater that resulted in two overlapping impact sites.

The collision created not one by two craters — an eastern crater (18-metres across) superimposed on a western crater (16-metres across).

Astronomers discovered the rocket heading towards the moon late last year. But ‘the double crater was unexpected’ the space agency said.

So far, no country has taken responsibility for the rocket and the resulting collision.

‘Typically a spent rocket has mass concentrated at the motor end; the rest of the rocket stage mainly consists of an empty fuel tank,’

The astronomers think that the origin of the rocket body could be traced by the double nature of the crater.

The maximum width of the double crater of the mystery rocket body was 29 metres.

No other rocket body impacts on the Moon have created double craters so far. The four craters formed when the Apollo 14 S-IVB (upper stage) was intentionally impacted into the Moon were somewhat irregular in outline and were substantially larger than each of the double craters.

The Orbiter that spotted the damage was launched on June 18, 2009, and has collected a treasure trove of data with its seven powerful instruments, making an invaluable contribution to our knowledge about the Moon.

Just today, Nasa launched its Capstone spacecraft, the first step in the space agency’s plans to send astronauts back to the moon in a few years.


MORE : Nasa’s Capstone mission takes off on an ‘unusual’ route to the Moon


MORE : Stunning pictures show June’s Super Strawberry moon filling the sky



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