NASA has found the spot on the moon where an as yet unidentified component of the rocket crashed in March. The crater is surprisingly large. The US lunar probe Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has found the spot where part of the rocket hit the moon in early March. The part had crashed on the far side of the moon.
LRO "surprisingly" identified two craters resulting from the impact, the US space agency National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA) said. At the end of 2019, LRO had already found the impact site of the failed Indian moon mission Chandrayaan 2.
The two craters overlap. According to NASA, one has a diameter of 18 meters and the other 16 meters. The discovery of the double crater was "unexpected". No other impact of a rocket part has caused such, explained NASA. This indicates that it is a rocket that carries larger loads at both ends. This could provide clues as to the identity of the rocket.
That is still unclear. In January, astronomer and programmer Bill Gray announced that he had spotted a rocket stage on a collision course with the moon and identified it as a SpaceX Falcon rocket stage.
Later spectral analysis of the paint revealed that it was more likely a rocket stage from China, presumably the launch vehicle of China's 2014 Chang'e 5-T1 lunar mission. However, China had denied this.
The still-unidentified part of the rocket hit the moon on March 4th. There has not yet been any visual confirmation of the impact, as no probes, telescopes or measuring instruments were available at the time. It was the first known unplanned collision of a rocket part with the moon. Planned impacts had previously been carried out for research purposes.