Astronomers now say the rocket about to strike the Moon just isn’t a Falcon 9

The Moon is safe from Falcon 9 rockets.

Enlarge / The Moon is protected from Falcon 9 rockets. (credit score: NASA)

About three weeks in the past Ars Technica first reported that astronomers have been monitoring the higher stage of a Falcon 9 rocket, and have been more and more assured that it could strike the Moon on March 4.

This story set off a firestorm of media exercise. A lot of this protection criticized SpaceX for failing to correctly eliminate the second stage of its Falcon 9 rocket after the launch of NOAA’s Deep House Local weather Observatory mission, or DSCOVR, in 2015. The British tabloids, particularly, had a subject day. Even the genteel European House Company tut-tutted, noting that it takes care to protect sufficient gas to place spent rocket phases into steady orbits across the Solar.

Nonetheless, it seems we have been all fallacious. A Falcon 9 rocket just isn’t going to, actually, strike the Moon subsequent month. As a substitute, it is most likely a Chinese language rocket.

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