This SpaceX rocket will crash into Moon, could Elon Musk get sued?

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stage that has been chaotically orbiting for some time will crash into the Moon relatively soon.

@JakConnorTT
Published Thu, Feb 3 2022 3:03 AM CST   |   Updated Wed, Mar 2 2022 10:00 AM CST

Astronomers observing near-Earth objects have found that a spent SpaceX rocket stage from a mission years ago is on track to collide with the Moon.

This SpaceX rocket will crash into Moon, could Elon Musk get sued? 01 | TweakTown.com

The astronomer is Bill Gray, known for the Project Pluto software that is used to track many near-Earth objects such as asteroids, comets, etc. Gray called upon fellow astronomers, both amateur and professionals, to track SpaceX's object and make additional observations. With the acquired data, Gray believes that SpaceX's spent upper rocket stage will likely impact the far side of the Moon close to the equator on March 4.

Now, if the observations prove to be accurate and SpaceX's spent rocket debris crashes into the Moon, does Elon Musk's company get sued? Firstly, no one actually owns the Moon, so no country could sue the company for debris crashing into its surface. However, if the debris were to crash into a rover, then there could be a precedence for legal action as the Outer Space Treaty of 1966, and the Convention on International Liability for Damage Causes by Space Objects of 1972 states countries can make legal claims against other countries if their spacecrafts are damaged by other spacecrafts.

"There's simply not a lot of precedent," attorney Scot Anderson told Forbes.

Ultimately, the chances of SpaceX's rocket debris crashing into any lander or rover is minimal, considering the surface area of the Moon and the size of the rocket debris. Eventually, though, nations around the world will begin to develop a larger presence on the Moon, and when that happens, it won't be a viable dumping ground for spent parts.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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