Secret payload on Chinese rocket caused a weird double crater on the moon

A team of researchers believe they have confirmed the rocket that collided with the surface of the Moon was from China, and it had a secret payload.

1 minute & 26 seconds read time

It was a few weeks ago when a group of researchers published a paper claiming they had discovered the origin of the mysterious rocket that crashed into the surface of the moon.

Secret payload on Chinese rocket caused a weird double crater on the moon 2222222

The researchers reported that the strange double crater discovered on the surface of the moon lined up with the trajectory of this rogue rocket. Additionally, the researchers traced the rocket's trajectory back to China, specifically the Long March 3C rocket body that was discarded from China's 2014 Chang'e 5-T1 mission.

Reports indicate that an undisclosed additional payload aboard the rocket is what caused the strange double crater that one aerospace engineer said, "This is the first time we see a double crater," per Tanner Campbell from the University of Arizona. Campbell further explained that to get two craters roughly the same size, you need two "roughly equal masses that are apart from each other".

At the moment, it remains unclear what caused the extra crater, and if you were to ask the China National Space Administration (CNSA), they would tell you the rocket doesn't belong to them.

"Obviously, we have no idea what it might have been - perhaps some extra support structure, or additional instrumentation, or something else," says Campbell. "We probably won't ever know," added Campbell.

"Once you're putting more and more objects on the Moon, it becomes extremely important that we not only track the object, but also understand what they are going to do once they get there," says Roberto Furfaro, a mechanical engineer at the University of Arizona.

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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, space, and artificial intelligence 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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