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A doomed rocket plunging into the moon at 5,800mph tomorrow could be a GOOD thing, scientists say

A ROGUE rocket rolling through space will offer scientists a rare learning opportunity when it hits the moon tomorrow.

According to astronomer Dr. Paul Hayne, the final moments of the one-ton booster will shed light on the effects of the space impacts.

Impact craters can provide information about the composition of the moon

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Impact craters can provide information about the composition of the moonPhoto credit: CNSA

registered mail The conversation This week, the University of Colorado Boulder physicist said Friday represented an “exciting opportunity.”

Sometime that day — experts aren’t sure when — a launch vehicle will hit the lunar surface after orbiting the Earth for eight years.

It will be the first time an artificial object has crashed into another space body without being aimed at it.

The collision will occur on the far side of the moon as the one-ton piece of space junk is traveling at about 1.6 miles per second.

“As a planetary scientist studying the moon, I see this unplanned impact as an exciting opportunity,” wrote Dr. hayne

“The moon has been a steadfast witness to the history of the solar system, its heavily cratered surface witnessing countless collisions over the past 4 billion years.

“However, scientists rarely catch a glimpse of the missiles – usually asteroids or comets – that form these craters.

He added, “Without knowing the details of what created a crater, there’s only so much scientists can learn by examining a crater.”

The object is likely part of a rocket that carried a small Chinese spacecraft called Chang’e 5-T1 to the moon in 2014.

It is expected to create a debris cloud and leave a small crater in its wake, although no serious damage will occur.

Once the dust settles, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will position itself to take pictures of what was left behind.

These images could prove crucial for scientists hoping to gain a better understanding of space collisions.

“The imminent missile impact will provide a fortuitous experiment that could reveal much about how natural collisions shatter and abrade planetary surfaces,” wrote Dr. hayes

“A deeper understanding of impact physics will help researchers interpret the moon’s barren landscape and also the effects of impacts on Earth and other planets.”

In January, space trackers calculated that a piece of man-made debris was on its way to hitting the moon.

It was first spotted by Bill Gray who writes the popular Project Pluto software to track near-Earth objects.

He reported that the junk was a SpaceX Falcon 9 upper stage that was launched from Florida in February 2015.

It was on a mission to deploy an Earth observation satellite called DSCOVR for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

However, Bill later retracted his claim, saying the missile part most likely belonged to China. China has since denied the allegation.

As part of its LCROSS mission, Nasa intentionally slammed a launch vehicle onto the moon in 2009, hoping to learn something from the debris left behind.

“Essentially this is a ‘free’ LCROSS … except we probably won’t see the impact,” Gray wrote in January.

NASA's LCROSS spacecraft was intentionally crashed into the moon in 2009

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NASA’s LCROSS spacecraft was intentionally crashed into the moon in 2009Photo credit: NASA

In other news, the mystery surrounding Stonehenge’s construction by prehistoric Britons has finally been solved after research confirmed the monument as a Old solar calendar.

In other news, the iPhone’s virtual assistant, Siri, is getting a new, “gender neutral” voice.

A British woman has told of their horror after scammers used photos of a ‘silver fox’ politician to swindle her out of £80,000.

And the Norfolk County Council sues Apple about what it says was misleading information about iPhone sales.


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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8450232/doomed-rocket-moon-tomorrow-good-thing-scientists-say/ A doomed rocket plunging into the moon at 5,800mph tomorrow could be a GOOD thing, scientists say

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