After three months of eager anticipation, a hunk of errant rocket trash provided an excellent example of the laws of physics, smashing into the Moon right on schedule, just as observers anticipated. Although experts initially trace the rogue space debris back to a spent Falcon 9 rocket stage from a 2015 SpaceX launch, a closer look at the evidence indicated the material may have actually originated from a Chinese CZ-3C Y12 rocket.
Unsurprisingly, China disputes this assertion, although it seems hard to argue with, y’know, observable facts and basic mathematics. Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at Harvard's Center for Astrophysics, tweeted that humanity’s little oopsie slammed into the dark side of the Moon’s Hertzprung crater at roughly 2.6 kms around 7:25 am EST, “because we trust Uncle Isaac [Newton]—successfully predicting the trajectory of things in space since 1687.”
We applaud McDowell’s cheeky way to describe humanity literally hurling its unwanted garbage faster than a speeding bullet into the orbital satellite that make life possible on this godforsaken planet.
NASA is already on it — Although NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter wasn’t properly aligned to witness the rocket debris crash in real-time, the space agency recently explained that it will do its due diligence to find what it left behind on the Moon’s surface. “The mission team is assessing if observations can be made to any changes to the lunar environment associated with the impact, and later identify the crater formed by the impact," a NASA spokesperson told Space.com last week, although they warned that the search will be “challenging” and could take months to finish. Still, it sounds like we will probably get at least some additional data/looks at the newly formed impact site in the near future.