With the Falcon 9 booster ruled out, he took a look at earlier missions. That’s when China’s Chang’e 5-T1 mission was discovered. And it looks like the associated Long March 3C rocket launched on October 23, 2014. And a small spacecraft was intended to land on the moon. They are sending it to await a lunar sample return mission.
The errant object is still scheduled to crash-land on the moon on March 4, Gray said in his blog. But there is no danger to life or equipment.
There is a myriad of sky tracking systems. Besides JPL, there is the Department of Defense’s global Space Surveillance Network (SSN). SSN tracks, almost 30,000 pieces of orbital debris, or “space junk.”
We really need to know what’s out there. And although it seems like everybody is looking at the sky, it may be time for a more seamless system.