Astronomers believe that the Chinese rocket that collided with the moon in 2022 was carrying something mysterious with it. New research reveals the mystery of the double crater and possible strange cargo.
In February 2022, astronomers were able to take a closer look at the debris of a rocket that crashed into the far side of the Moon.
This event attracted the attention of researchers, as initial assumptions turned out to be erroneous. Instead of a Falcon 9 stage from SpaceX, experts discovered that it was apparently a Chinese Chang’e 5-T1 rocket.
The rocket, launched in 2014, was performing a test run for a future mission to collect some of the lunar regolith. However, according to the latest data, its mysterious cargo has become the object of new scientific research.
Space debris researcher Bill Gray and his team have proposed a unique explanation for the formation of a double crater on the Moon. Apparently, the rocket was carrying something that caused it to behave strangely upon impact with the lunar surface.
Study first author Tanner Campbell noted that objects in space are exposed to the gravitational forces of the Earth and Moon, as well as sunlight. The rocket was expected to wobble, but surprisingly it tumbled steadily.
According to Campbell, “It was just somersaulting from end to end, in a very stable way.”
Researchers speculate that this unusual could be an additional support structure or equipment placed on the rocket.
However, despite the intriguing nature of this discovery, the essence of the mysterious cargo remains a mystery.
Campbell said: “Obviously we have no idea what it could have been – perhaps some additional support structure, or additional equipment, or something else. We’ll probably never know.”