Aerospace agencies and industrial companies monitor their satellites, telescopes and probes, but they do not return flammable materials to the Earth’s atmosphere.
On Friday, March 4, the remnants of a rocket crashed into the moon. While China and the United States have denied responsibility for the crash, the issue raises concerns about space pollution.
And inside A statement Audrey Dufour, author of the French newspaper “La Croix”, claims that for the first time in history, humans were responsible for the spontaneous pollution that affected galaxies other than Earth after the wreckage of a lost missile fell to Earth. The surface of the moon.
The first crash of space debris on the surface of the moon
This is not the first accident on the moon. Since 1959 and after the Soviet “Luna 2” mission, mankind has sent a number of probes, robots and other devices that have voluntarily collided with the lunar surface, including those that have landed with varying degrees of success.
In the coming months, the United States will launch the “Artemis” project, and as Russia prepares to launch the “Luna 25” spacecraft next August, India will make the final touches to “Chandrayaan-3” exploration. ) Getting ready to start in the summer.
In the crash on Friday, March 4, only the debris of the missile fell to the surface of the moon, which in no way was a fall useful for voluntary, planned or scientific research. These debris actually leave the rocket booster, the large “engine” parts attached to the rockets, making sure to take off and then fall into the Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrate.
But instead of falling to the Earth’s surface, these debris began to wander between the Earth and the Moon before being pulled by the Moon’s gravity. According to US astronomer Bill Greaves, who discovered the faulty object in late January, the debris was planned to collide with the edge of the Hertspring abyss, far from the moon.
Is this a piece of the American Falcon 9 missile or a Chinese missile?
At the time, the astronomer believed he was manipulating part of US company SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, but NASA and other companies have denied the allegations. After a thorough analysis, in October 2014 the material was reclassified as belonging to the Chinese missile launched by the Chang’e-5T1 mission.
For its part, Beijing has denied the allegations. On February 21, when asked about the issue by the Chinese Foreign Minister, he replied that “the Chang’e-5 mission vehicle has returned to Earth as planned and is completely wrecked”. But the Chang’e-5 mission, launched in 2020 and already properly disassembled, seems to be confused with the Chang’e-5T1 mission.
Adding to the confusion, the U.S. Armed Forces, which monitors space debris, said on their website that the booster of the Chang’e-5 T1 missile was actually listed as having returned to Earth and burned in its atmosphere. But this information is not automatically taken from launch data or actual tracking. Therefore, it is difficult to determine who is right and who is wrong. If this material is actually Chinese, the fate of the American Falcon 9 missile remains a mystery.
Lots of pollution and space junk
Regardless of its source, this waste reopens the debate over space debris and planetary defenses. “We have to protect the celestial bodies, what happened is a terrifying sight,” said Arnaud St. Martin.
Also in 2019, an Israeli spacecraft carrying Tortigrates accidentally crashed, restoring concerns about lunar soil pollution. The latest incident raises the issue of waste monitoring.
Currently, low orbit and Earth’s atmosphere are being closely monitored, especially in the absence of a monitoring agency for what’s next, especially when there is no risk of collision with Earth.
Aerospace agencies and industrial companies monitor their satellites, telescopes and probes, but this does not include flammable materials that return to the Earth’s atmosphere.
“There’s no danger to the astronauts or the Earth,” says Bill Gray.
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