Chinese rocket with unknown cargo crashed into the Moon: Investigation results

Aerospace engineers published an investigative article regarding the nature of the object that crashed into the Moon on March 4, 2022. They confirmed that it was a booster of a Chinese rocket that had been wandering in space since 2014. However, some unknown cargo was attached to it. 

Image of the Earth and the Moon taken by the Chang’e 5-T1 mission. Source:

Collision with the Moon

At the beginning of 2022, the circles of astronomy enthusiasts were stirred up by the news that an unknown object was going to crash into the Moon. It received the designation WE0913A. For some time its nature was unclear. Scientists suspected that this was the stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. However, this version was soon refuted.

The researchers came to the conclusion that this was the booster of the Chinese Chang’e 5-T1 mission. However, representatives of the country’s space organisations refused to confirm this. After WE0913A crashed into the Moon on March 4, 2022, interest in it dropped.

And now aerospace engineers from the University of Arizona published an article in which they revealed the mystery of this collision. They confirmed that the object was the booster of the Chang’e 5-T1 mission. This is known for sure, because it had been tracked for 7 years before.

A pair of craters formed as a result of the collision. Source: 10.3847/PSJ/acffb8

Mysterious cargo

However, researchers discovered a new mystery. The point is that WE0913A left a strange double crater on the surface of the Moon, as if it represented not one, but two separate objects. If we assume that it is really the booster, this is a very interesting observation because its behaviour before the collision was quite strange.

The fact is that the booster is a light tube, to one of the ends of which a heavy engine is attached. The centre of gravity in it should be strongly shifted. It tends to spin when flying out of control. However, nothing like this was observed in the case of Chang’e 5-T1.

The researchers concluded that the unknown load had been attached to the booster all these years, which levelled the centre of gravity. It was also responsible for the formation of the second crater. However, the cargo remains unknown.

When Chang’e 5-T1 was launched in 2014, its main load was a scientific spacecraft that flew around the Moon several times. Together with it, the private Manfred Memorial Moon Mission travelled around our moon. Both of these vehicles returned to Earth. However, no one can guarantee that the Chinese have not attached something else military to the stage.

According to

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