Rocket moon crash LIVE – How to watch 5,800mph booster set to hit on 3/4/22 as space junk may cause huge crater

AN OUT-OF-CONTROL rocket part the size of a school bus will smash into the Moon on Friday.

According to astronomers, a rocket booster will hit the lunar surface on March 4 after spending nearly eight years tumbling through space.

It will be the first time a manmade object has crashed into another space body without being aimed there.

It was first spotted by Bill Gray, who writes the popular Project Pluto software to track near-Earth objects.

He reported that the junk was a SpaceX Falcon 9 upper stage launched from Florida in February 2015.

However, Bill later retracted his claim and said the rocket part most likely belonged to China. China has since denied the accusation.

Read our rocket moon crash live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Amanda Castro

    What is Chandrayaan-2 Moon Lander?

    Every mission to the Moon carries the risk of crashing into it.

    This happened with India's Chandrayaan-2, also known as Vikram, Moon lander.

    In September 2019, the lander lost contact with Earth and fell onto the lunar surface.

    It was meant to gradually drop to the Moon's south pole, but it landed on the wrong side.

  • Amanda Castro

    What is Luna 2?

    The Luna 2 spacecraft, built by the Soviet Union, is considered to be the first man-made spacecraft to crash onto the Moon.

    This occurred in 1959, eight months after Luna 1's disastrous mission.

    Luna 1 was scheduled to reach the Moon, but it failed to do so and is now lost in space.

  • Amanda Castro

    Have there been other space debris crashes?

    There have been other instances in which debris has crashed into the moon. Some of those instances are:

    • Luna 2
    • India's Chandrayaan-2 Moon Lander
    • Nasa's Snoopy module
    • Jennifer Korn

      Will you be able to see the impact?

      On March 4, the rocket component is still projected to impact the Moon, leaving a 65-foot-diameter crater on the surface.

      Unfortunately, because the falling rocket portion is predicted to hit the Moon's far side — the side that faces away from Earth – the collision will not be visible live.

      Instead, scientists will examine the aftermath of the disaster using photographs captured by spacecraft such as Nasa's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Man-made items on the moon

      There have been over 800 items found on the moon, according to inventory taken by NASA in 2012.

      Among those items are:

      • Scoops
      • Tongs
      • Golf balls
      • Mirrors
      • Cameras
      • Barf bags
      • Feces
      • Shoes
      • Cosmic ray detectors
      • And many others

      Impact on the Moon

      The collision of the rocket booster and the Moon is expected to produce a cloud of debris and leave behind a small crater.

      However, no serious damage is expected to occur.

      What is the rocket booster?

      The object is probably part of a rocket that launched a small Chinese spacecraft, called Chang’e 5-T1, towards the Moon in 2014.

      Bill Gray, who writes the popular Project Pluto software to track near-Earth objects, originally reported that the junk was a SpaceX Falcon 9 upper stage launched from Florida in February 2015.

      However, Bill later retracted his claim and said the rocket part most likely belonged to China instead.

      China has since denied the accusation.

      Where will the rocket hit?

      The collision will occur on the far side of the Moon.

      The one-tonne hunk of space junk is traveling at around 2.6 km per second.

      When will the rocket hit the Moon?

      According to astronomers, a rocket booster will hit the Moon's surface on March 4 after spending almost eight years tumbling through space.

      It will be the first time a manmade object has crashed into another space body without being aimed there.

      • Jennifer Korn

        What if someone died on a longer space trip?

        More problems arise for longer missions.

        Experts Christopher Newman and Nick Caplan wrote in The Conversation that they think a dead body on a year-long trip to Mars would need to be frozen, perhaps toward the outside of the spacecraft, in order to bring it back to Earth safely.

        This could also reduce a dead body's weight and save space in the craft.

        The space researchers also suggest that as we colonize space, bodies may have to be disposed of rather than preserved.

        Burials would contaminate planets, but catapulting bodies into the abyss of space would lead to moral and space debris issues.

      • Jennifer Korn

        What would happen if someone dies on a space trip?

        If someone were to die during a space tourism flight, it could land the specific company in legal trouble and an investigation into the duty of care.

        Legal concerns would be the least of the crews worries though as they'd need to work out what to do with the body.

        If it's a short spaceflight, it would be easy enough to store the body and bring it back to Earth.

        According to space experts Christopher Newman and Nick Caplan, the body would need to be kept cool to prevent decomposition and stored somewhere that wouldn't contaminate the other crew members.

      • Jennifer Korn

        Has anyone died in space?

        Around 30 astronauts and cosmonauts have died while attempting space missions.

        Seven astronauts died when Nasa's Challenger space shuttle exploded shortly after launch in 1986.

        A further seven astronauts died when Nasa's Columbia shuttle broke up when it returned to Earth in 2003.

        These tragic events were shocking and killed all crew members on board.

        No spaceflight has been able to teach us what would happen if one crew member dies during a mission while everyone else is alive and fit enough to continue.

      • Jennifer Korn

        Did someone hit a golf ball on the moon?

        NASA astronaut Alan Shepard teed off from the pie in the sky on February 6, 1971. 

        The rigidity of his suit prevented him from putting everything he had into the iconic shots as the balls traveled less than 50 yards, which is hardly enough to find the green at an Earth-based pitch and putt.

        Shepard passed away in 1998 at the age of 74 but the memory of his otherworldly drive has stayed preserved in NASA lore.

      • Jennifer Korn

        How many people have been to the moon?

        Just 12 people have set foot on the surface of the moon.

        Only four remain alive in March 2022. 

        Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, turned 92 on January 20, 2022, and celebrated the milestone with a message to his 1.5million Twitter followers.

        12 more astronauts have visited the moon but from the comparative safety of the lunar module.

      • Jennifer Korn

        When is the next full moon?

        The next full moon will be on Friday, March 18 at 3.17am, however, the moon will seem full to the casual stargazer the night before and following its peak.

        The Full Worm Moon is the name given to the full moon in March.

      • Jennifer Korn

        What are the full moons in 2022?

        There are 12 full Moons to spot in 2021, each with its own unique name.

        Here's the full list:

        • January 17 – Wolf Moon
        • February 16 – Snow Moon
        • March 18 – Worm Moon
        • April 16 – Pink Moon
        • May 16 – Flower Moon
        • June 14 – Strawberry Moon
        • July 13 – Buck Moon
        • August 11 – Sturgeon Moon
        • September 10 – Harvest Moon
        • October 9 – Blood Moon
        • November 8 – Frost Moon
        • December 7 – Cold Moon

        Primary moon phases

        Out of the eight moon phases, only four of them are considered primary (Full, First, New, Third).

        Each of the four primary phases lasts for about a week, making the full moon cycle last for approximately a month.

        What are the moon phases?

        There are eight moon phases:

        • Full Moon
        • Waxing Gibbous
        • First Quarter
        • Waxing Crescent
        • New Moon
        • Waning Crescent
        • Third Quarter
        • Waning Gibbous

        How to send your name around the moon

        You need to go to Nasa's official website for the Artemis mission.

        That's available here.

        You need to enter your name and a custom PIN, which will generate your boarding pass.

        The PIN needs to be 4 to 7 digits.

        Remember the PIN, as this will allow you access your boarding pass in the future.

        SpaceX achievements

        SpaceX's accomplishments include:

        • The first privately funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach Earth orbit
        • The first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft
        • The first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station
        • The first vertical take-off and vertical propulsive landing for an orbital rocket
        • The first reuse of an orbital rocket
        • The first private company to send astronauts to orbit and to the International Space Station
        • The Falcon 9 series of rockets has been flown over a hundred times by SpaceX.

        When was SpaceX founded?

        Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known widely as SpaceX, is a Hawthorne, California-based aerospace manufacturer, space transportation services provider, and communications company.

        Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 with the purpose of lowering space transportation costs so that Mars may be colonized.

        The Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, as well as various rocket engines, the Cargo Dragon, crew spacecraft, and Starlink communications satellites, are all manufactured by SpaceX.

        • Amanda Castro

          Who is Elon Musk?

          Born June 28, 1971, Elon Musk is a business mogul and entrepreneur.

          He is the co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI, as well as the founder, CEO, and Chief Engineer of SpaceX.

          Musk is also an early-stage investor, CEO, and Product Architect of Tesla, Inc., and the creator of The Boring Company.

          He is the world's wealthiest individual, according to both the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and the Forbes real-time billionaires list, with an estimated net worth of roughly $224billion as of February 2022.

        • Amanda Castro

          How old is the moon?

          The moon is assumed to have originated as a result of a big object or series of objects colliding with Earth, with part of the material blasting into space and becoming our lunar neighbor.

          Scientists investigated old zircon pieces after Apollo astronauts returned lunar rocks for study, they were able to establish that this occurred around 4.5billion years ago.

        • Amanda Castro

          What was Project A119? continued

          The project was never completed because Air Force authorities determined that its hazards exceeded its advantages and because a Moon landing would definitely be a more popular achievement in the eyes of both the American and foreign publics.

          If carried out, the idea may have resulted in the militarization of space.

          The Soviet Union attempted a similar scheme (Project E-4) but it never materialized.

        • Amanda Castro

          What was Project A119?

          The United States Air Force devised Project A119, also known as A Study of Lunar Research Flights, as a top-secret concept in 1958.

          The project's goal was to explode a nuclear weapon on the Moon, which would aid in solving some of planetary astronomy and astrogeology's riddles.

          The flash of explosive light might have been dimly visible to humans on Earth if the explosive device had detonated on the surface rather than in a lunar crater.

          This was intended as a show of power to improve public morale in the United States' capabilities, which was required after the Soviet Union grabbed an early lead in the Space Race and was working on a comparable project as well.

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