On February 11, 2015, SpaceX launched the first Falcon 9 rocket beyond low Earth orbit and geostationary orbit. That was over seven years ago, and the mission was a success. The satellite reached point L1, more than a million kilometers from Earth. Everything went according to plan, but since then the second stage of the rocket is still traveling in space.
Now the final point of the rocket’s path has become known. The information was revealed by engineer Bill Gray, a specialist in tracking space objects. According to his calculations, on March 4, a celestial body will crash into the surface of the far side of the Moon at a speed of 2.58 km / s.
The rocket did not have enough fuel to return to Earth or move away from the gravitational force of the Sun and Earth. According to data collected by Bill Gray and his team, this Falcon 9 stage weighs 4 tons. This will be the first “involuntary” fall of an artificial body on the surface of the Moon.
Bill Gray mentioned NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and India’s Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft as two low-orbit satellites capable of gathering information about the accident. However, he believes that the likelihood that either of these two bodies will be close to the collision point at the right time is low. It is also unlikely that the relevant agencies will allocate funds to burn fuel to change the orbit for this event.
He added that if one of the satellites could pass close to the impact site, it could “see a very steep impact crater and probably learn something about the geology of that part of the moon.”