Science and Exploration

Mystery Rocket Body Found On The Moon

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
June 29, 2022
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Mystery Rocket Body Found On The Moon
A rocket body impacted the Moon on 04 March 2022 near Hertzsprung crater, creating a double crater roughly 28 meters wide in the longest dimension. LROC NAC M1407760984R enlarged 3x [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

The double crater was unexpected and may indicate that the rocket body had large masses at each end.
Typically a spent rocket has mass concentrated at the motor end; the rest of the rocket stage mainly consists of an empty fuel tank. Since the origin of the rocket body remains uncertain, the double nature of the crater may help to indicate its identity.

No other rocket body impacts on the Moon created double craters. The four Apollo SIV-B craters were somewhat irregular in outline (Apollos 13, 14, 15, 17) and were substantially larger (>35 meters in diameter) than each of the double craters. The maximum width (29 meters) of the double crater of the mystery rocket body was near that of the S-IVBs.

Larger imagery

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.