While the space race of the 1950’s and 60’s was perhaps one of the most phenomenal confluences of pop culture and science our world has ever seen, the modern version of this technological advancement appears to be bringing with it a bit of stealth and secrecy.
Sure, there are plenty of reasons for nations around the world to keep their space plans under wraps – particularly nations such as Russia and China who’ve been experimenting openly with hypersonic rockets capable of delivering a nuclear payload at ungodly speeds, high above this planet.
But a recent discovery on the surface of the moon has some scientists wondering if there isn’t something else going on as well.
NASA has discovered the crash site of a “mystery rocket body” that collided with the Moon’s surface earlier this year. The impact left behind a widespread “double crater,” meaning it wasn’t the average rocket.
However, since its crash landing, none of Earth’s space-exploring nations have claimed responsibility for the mysterious projectile, leaving NASA scientists baffled as to who was behind its launch. New images shared on June 24 by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show the unusual impact site.
And it gets even stranger:
“Surprisingly the crater is actually two craters, an eastern crater (18-meter diameter, about 19.5 yards) superimposed on a western crater (16-meter diameter, about 17.5 yards,” NASA reported. “The double crater was unexpected…No other rocket body impacts on the Moon created double craters.”
The rocket was at one point believed to belong to China, but Beijing has denied that claim vehemently.