NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Double Crater Moon
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captured an unusual double crater on the Moon caused by a rocket body impact last year. It consists of an eastern crater (18-meter diameter, about 19.5 yards) superimposed on a western crater (16-meter diameter, about 17.5 yards), which are both the result of a rocket body with large masses at each end.

NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Double Crater Moon
A normal spent rocket has its mass concentrated at the motor end, while the rest of the body mainly consists of an empty fuel tank. Since the origin of this rocket body remains a mystery, the double nature of the crater may uncover its identity. So far to date, no other rocket body impacts on the Moon have created double craters. In related news, NASA’s SOFIA has discovered water on the sunlit surface of the Moon.

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NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Double Crater Moon

The four Apollo SIV-B craters were somewhat irregular in outline (Apollos 13, 14, 15, 17) and were substantially larger (greater than 35 meters, about 38 yards) than each of the double craters. The maximum width (29 meters, about 31.7 yards) of the double crater of the mystery rocket body was near that of the S-IVBs,” said NASA.

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