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Writer Fuel: Who Smashed a Rocket Into the Moon?

new lunar craters - NASA

NASA has photographed the crash site of the mysterious rocket that smashed into the far side of the moon in March, and the unidentified spacecraft left behind a weird double crater that has scientists puzzled.

Images of the crash site were taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) on May 25 and released on June 24. The photos show that the wayward debris (the origins of which are still contested) somehow punched out two overlapping craters when it smashed into the far side of the moon traveling at roughly 5,770 mph (9,290 km/h).

The unexpected dual craters add an extra layer of strangeness to a mystery that has confounded space watchers since January, when Bill Gray, a U.S. astronomer and developer of software that tracks near-Earth objects, predicted that the orbiting piece of space junk would hit the moon’s far side in a matter of months, Live Science previously reported. When Gray first spotted the debris, he suggested that it was the second stage of a Falcon X rocket launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX in 2015. But later observations and analysis of orbital data hinted that the object was the spent upper stage of China’s Chang’e 5-T1 rocket, a spacecraft (named after the Chinese moon goddess) which launched in 2014. Chinese officials, however, disagreed, claiming that this rocket’s upper stage burned up in Earth’s atmosphere years ago.

“Writer Fuel” is a series of cool real-world stories that might inspire your little writer heart. Check out our Writer Fuel page on the LimFic blog for more inspiration.

Full Story From Live Science 

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