It seems that a mistake has been made among astronomers. Previously, it was believed that a rocket built by SpaceX would be on a collision course with the Moon. A recent update reveals that our natural satellite will be impacted by a Chinese rocket instead.
The astronomers admitted that they’ve made a mistake and that better ways are needed to observe what’s going on out there in space.
So the rocket about to hit the Moon, it turns out, is not the one we thought it was. This (an honest mistake) just emphasizes the problem with lack of proper tracking of these deep space objects. https://t.co/JXKpUmEC2X
— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) February 13, 2022
Jonathan McDowell is an astronomer working at the Center for Astrophysics. He’s also working on the Chandra X-ray Observatory.
If previous observations regarding the spot of the upcoming impact are correct, the collision will happen somewhere on the far side of the Moon. However, scientists also admitted that it’s impossible to say for sure where the spacecraft will hit. This is due to the influence of sunlight, just to name one of the factors.
Bill Gray, who is involved in identifying objects that come close to our planet, said the following
These unpredictable effects are very small. But they will accumulate between now and 2022 March 4, and we’d really like to determine the impact location as precisely as possible, so that the the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Chandrayaan-2 folks can find the crater (and, if we’re lucky, maybe image the impact).
Although initially, NASA scientists were considering the Artemis mission to start in 2024, it was delayed by one year. Therefore, starting in 2025, the space agency will send astronauts that will have to land on our Moon.
Space agencies are seriously considering the idea of colonization of other space objects that should start at some point. Going back to the Moon would be like a ‘slingshot’ for landing the first humans on Mars until the end of the decade. Of course, colonizing the Red Planet would imply a much longer period of time, and scientists still have many problems to solve in figuring out how exactly they can make the colonization possible.