Really ancient asteroid surveyor NASA two rockets

Boogie you may reach “asteroid” It is expected to be captured by Earth’s gravity and become a young moon next month.
Instead of a cosmic rock, the newly discovered object appears to be an ancient rocket from a failed moon landing mission 54 years ago that finally made its way home, according to NASA agency Leading asteroid expert. The notes should help identify her.

“I’m very upset about this,” Paul Chodas told The Associated Press. “It was my hobby to find one of these and draw such a link, and I’ve been doing it for decades.” Chodas speculates that the asteroid 2020 SO, as it is officially known, is actually the stage of the overhead Centaur rocket that successfully propelled NASA’s Surveyor 2 lander to the moon in 1966 before it was scrapped.

This 1966 photo provided by the San Diego Air and Space Museum shows the Atlas Centaur 7 rocket on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (AP)

The lander ended up colliding with the moon after one of its thrusters failed to ignite on the way there. Meanwhile, the rocket traversed the moon and orbited the sun as intended, never to be seen again – perhaps until now.

A telescope in Hawaii last month discovered the mysterious object that was on our way while conducting research aimed at protecting our planet from doomsday rocks. The object was instantly added to International Astronomical Union The Minor Planet Center toll for asteroids and comets in our solar system, only 5,000 shy of the million mark.

The body is estimated to be approximately 8 meters, based on its brightness. This is in the old Centaur Stadium, which will be less than 10 meters long including the engine nozzle and 3 meters in diameter.

What caught Chodas’ attention is that its semi-circular orbit around the sun is quite similar to Earth’s – which is unusual for an asteroid.

File photo from 1965 provided by the San Diego Air and Space Museum, technicians working on an Atlas Centaur 7 rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida. (AP)

The object is also at the same ground level, not tilted up or down, another red flag. Asteroids usually move at strange angles. Finally, it is approaching Earth at 2,400 km / h, slowly by the standards of asteroids.

As the object approaches, astronomers should be able to better plan its orbit and determine how much it is being pushed by the radiation and thermal effects of sunlight. If it were an ancient centaur – essentially a light empty can – it would move differently from a heavy space rock, which is less susceptible to outside forces.

Chodas expects the object to spend about four months orbiting the Earth once it is captured in mid-November, before returning to its orbit around the sun next March.

He suspects the object will hit the ground – “at least not this time.”

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