China denies making ‘space junk’ set to crash into Moon

China denies making 'space junk' set to crash into Moon

China’s foreign ministry has refuted a US allegation that a spent rocket booster expected to crash on the far side of the moon next month was debris from a Chinese lunar mission in 2014.

An independent researcher first identified the rocket booster as a used Falcon rocket stage from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which is set to crash on the moon on March 4.

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The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced earlier this month that its study revealed the object was most likely the booster rocket from China’s Chang’e 5-T1 mission, which launched in 2014.

In October 2014, China used a three-stage Long March 3C rocket to propel the unmanned Chang’e 5-T1 spacecraft to the moon.

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The goal of the mission was to see if the spacecraft’s capsule could re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. That following month, the capsule landed on Earth.

The nearly ten-year journey of the alleged rocket booster has reignited debate over space trash and who is legally accountable for tracking debris that floats outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.

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