A study by a team of scientists from the University of Arizona has solved the mystery surrounding the crash on the moon that occurred on March 4, 2022. The researchers determined that a stray rocket from China, specifically a Long March 3C, collided with the moon’s far side and created a double crater approximately 95 feet (29 meters) wide near the Hertzsprung Crater.
Tanner Campbell led the team of astronomers at the University of Arizona’s Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering who conducted a trajectory and spectroscopic analysis using data from ground-based telescopes. Initially, it was thought that the upper stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket responsible for launching the DSCOVR satellite in February 2015 could be responsible based on initial observations. However, after further investigation, it was found that it was actually the Long March 3C rocket from China.
Despite this conclusion, Chinese officials have rejected it outrightly, stating that they believe that the upper stage of their Long March 3C burned up in Earth’s atmosphere following their Chang’e 5-T1 launch. On the other hand, US Space Command supports this finding by stating that they did not re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.
The researchers presented their findings in detail in Planetary Science Journal stating “In this paper we present trajectory and spectroscopic analysis using ground-based telescope observations to conclusively show that WE0913A is an object associated with Chang’e 5-T1 mission.” They also analyzed light curve of Chinese rocket comparing it with thousands simulated space objects and identifying distinctive characteristics which confirm it as Long March 3C rocket body (R/B).