Rocket racing with the moon doesn’t belong to SpaceX, report says

The massive rocket hurtling through space on a collision course with the moon does not belong to SpaceX despite previous reports and likely belongs to a spacecraft launched by China in 2014, according to a report on Saturday.

Ars Technica first reported on the mysterious object discovered by Bill Gray, the developer of astronomical software called Project Pluto. The report says Gray updated his website on Saturday to show the correction after being flagged by a NASA engineer who questioned his earlier statement.

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Gray said he checked his data and said there is “good evidence” that the object is a Chinese Chang’e 5-T1 rocket stage which was launched in October 2014. The earlier theory was that the object was the upper stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, launched on February 11, 2015.

Gray wrote on its website that the object “will still strike the moon within a few miles of the predicted location on March 4, 2022 at 12:25 UTC, seconds from the predicted time.”

Une fusée SpaceX Falcon9 décolle de la rampe de lancement le mercredi 11 février 2015, transportant le vaisseau spatial Deep Space Climate Observatory de la NOAA qui orbitera entre la Terre et le soleil, fournissant un avertissement avancé des émissions extrêmes du soleil qui peuvent affecter les réseaux électriques et satellites proches de la Terre.  (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) <span class=Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/.OWfXb4n5yY1JJjMFTFf1w–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTM5Ng–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2 /yzFC99e4fvSMRP.bwETDyg–~B/aD03MDM7dz0xMjUwO2FwcGlkPXl0YWNoeW9u/https://media.zenfs.com/en/fox_news_text_979/8f559a0e820a4aac395a4ebc1759a7fb”/>

Mark Robinson, a professor of earth and space exploration at Arizona State University, told the New York Times earlier this month that the object, which weighs about four tons and travels 5,700 mph, will create a about 65 feet in diameter.

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SpaceX did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.

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