UArizona Students Confirm Errant Rocket’s Chinese Origins and Track Lunar Collision Course

A high-definition image of the Mars Australe lava plain on the Moon taken by Japan’s Kaguya lunar orbiter in November 2007. (Credit: JAXA/NHK)

TUCSON, Ariz. (University of Arizona PR) — The presumed SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster that’s on a course to hit the moon March 4 is actually a Chinese booster from a rocket launch in 2014, a University of Arizona team has confirmed.

UArizona students in the university’s Space Domain Awareness lab at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory have had their eyes on the piece of space junk for weeks as they studied its rotation. They have been gathering other data as well, which they used to confirm its Chinese origin.