After seven-year of space odyssey, as expected, a three-tonne piece of Chinese rocket debris slammed into the Moon, creating a 65 feet wide crater on the lunar surface, heralding the possible escalation of the space debris problem.
According to experts, the event took place at 7:25 a.m. EST on the lunar far side, on Friday, Space.com reported. As a result, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter could not get a look at the crash since it was not visible.
"We certainly have an interest in finding the impact crater and will attempt to do so over the coming weeks and months," John Keller, the deputy project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, emailed to The Verge in a statement.
"We will not be near the impact site when it takes place so we won't be able to directly observe it. The onboard narrow angle cameras have sufficient resolution to detect the crater but the Moon is full of fresh impact craters, so positive identification is based on before and after images under similar lighting conditions, he added.
The doomed space debris was first reported by Bill Gray, an astronomer running Project Pluto. In his blogpost, Gray first claimed that the debris is from billionaire Elon Musk owned SpaceX rocket.
But later Gray predicted that the object is a leftover piece of a Chinese rocket, specifically a Long March 3C that launched China's Chang'e 5-T1 mission to the Moon. But China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected the claim, Space News reported.
(With inputs from IANS)