Elon Musk-owned space company SpaceX is aiming to land humans on The Moon with NASA in 2025. However, as a derelict SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket chaotically maneuverers through the vast expanse, the company will be landing something on The Moon... via a big crash.
The Moon will soon be hit by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
Reported by Ars Technica, a seven-year-old SpaceX rocket will crash into the Moon's surface in around five weeks’ time. The upper stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will crash into the satellite on March 4th, 2022.
The rocket’s trajectory was determined by Project Pluto software developer, Bill Gray. Project Pluto, a tool designed to track near-Earth objects, noticed the space junk earlier this year. However, the derelict rocket will soon forcefully make its way over to the lunar surface.
SpaceX’s rocket was seen making “a close lunar flyby on January 5”. When it hits the far side of The Moon later this year, it will do so at a phenomenal speed. The rocket is expected to crash into the surface at 5,771 mph (9,288 km/h), possibly creating a massive crater.
Gray notes that “This is the first unintentional case [of man-made space debris hitting the moon] of which I am aware”.
Space Junk is a massive issue
As we've reported before, space debris is a huge issue for satellites and rockets. Since space debris the size of a paint fleck can completely destroy a rocket, the issue is only exacerbated as more objects are launched into space.
Whether that space debris is from old SpaceX tech or Russian space debris from experiments, it's all leading to a bigger issue. While some companies are looking to clear the near-Earth orbit, those efforts are still far away.
Just like the oceans and land, it’s important that humanity looks after our orbit. Space may be incredibly vast, but pollution this close to home is a dangerous reality.