By: April Carson
A rocket body was discovered moving toward a lunar collision late last year, according to astronomers. The impact occurred on March 4, 2022, with NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) later documenting the resulting crater. The larger of the two craters (18-meter diameter, about 19.5 yards) is overlaid by an even bigger crater (16-meter diameter, about 17.5 yards).
The impactor was likely a rocket body from the Apollo program, as no other impacting objects have been found in LRO data. This is the first time that an Apollo-related impact has been observed on the Moon.
This particular impact event is interesting because it occurred near the Apollo 16 landing site. The Apollo 16 mission was the fifth manned mission to land on the Moon and included among its crew John Young, who went on to become the ninth astronaut to walk on the lunar surface. The mission also holds the distinction of being the first to use the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), which allowed astronauts to explore a much larger area of the lunar surface than had previously been possible.
The double crater was unexpected, and it might indicate that the rocket body had big masses at both ends. A spent rocket generally has mass concentrated toward the motor end; the rest of the rocket stage is typically made up of an empty fuel tank. The twin nature of the hole may suggest its origin since its origins are unknown.
This is the first time such a find has been made using only images from a spacecraft orbiting the moon. The discovery was announced in a paper published in the journal Icarus.
The crater is located in the Sea of Tranquility, near where the Apollo 11 mission lander touched down in 1969.
The impact site is just south of a much larger crater called Cone, which was created by an impact about 3 billion years ago.
It's not yet known how old the double crater is, but it's thought to be fairly young because it doesn't show any signs of erosion.
The Moon has no other rocket body craters with two valleys. The four Apollo SIV-B cratering were somewhat irregular in shape (Apollos 13, 14, 15, 17) and much greater than the corresponding double craters (greater than 35 meters, about 38 yards). The mystery rocket ship's maximum width (29 meters, about 31.7 yards) was comparable to that of the S-IVBs.
This is an exciting discovery because it could help us learn more about the history of space exploration. The fact that the impact site is so well-preserved suggests that it might be possible to find other, older sites that could tell us even more about the early days of space travel.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a robotic spacecraft that circles the Moon in an eccentric polar mapping orbit, is currently orbiting the Moon. LRO data is important for NASA's future human and robotic missions to the Moon.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, runs LRO for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. LRO was launched on June 18, 2009, and has amassed an astounding amount of data with its seven sophisticated instruments. LRO is made up of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. The mission was successful beyond expectations. The project has cost $504 million so far.
Artemis, NASA's new Moon landing is part of a new initiative to return to the Moon with commercial and international partners to develop human presence in space while also bringing back new knowledge and possibilities. Artemis will land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the moon in 2024. The project will also establish new technology demonstrations and science payloads to be left on the lunar surface.
This is an incredible time for space exploration, and this news only adds to the excitement. With LRO's discovery, we now know that there is even more to learn about the Moon and our place in the solar system.
On this episode of Cosmically Connected Psychic Medium Cortney answers your FREE questions LIVE!
About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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