Astronomers expect the rocket to crash on March 4.
They claim that the rocket is a 2014-065B, the booster for the Chang’e 5-T1, launched in 2014 as part of the Chinese space agency’s lunar exploration program.
In other words, the rocket is Chinese space trash.
Bill Gray — the astronomer who first identified the future impact — provided the update and admitted his mistake last weekend.
“This (honest mistake) just emphasizes the problem with lack of proper tracking of these deep space objects,” tweeted astronomer Jonathan McDowell, who has long pointed to the problems of space trash.
He also affirmed the high probability of the upcoming rocket strike.
“The object had about the brightness we would expect, and had showed up at the expected time and moving in a reasonable orbit,” he wrote in post.
China’s initial accusation was not completely implausible, considering that Musk has announced plans for lunar exploration in recent years.
“Together, NASA and SpaceX have successfully executed similarly bold and innovative partnerships, including restoring America’s ability to launch astronauts to orbit and return them safely home,” SpaceX announced last year.
“We will build upon our shared accomplishments, and leverage years of close technical collaboration to return to the Moon. In doing so, we will lay the groundwork for human exploration to Mars and beyond,” they added.
Relations between Musk and China have been bizarre, to say the least.
In December, the nation requested U.S. aid in defending them from potential Musk-led extraterrestrial attacks.
They believe that Musk and his private firm have interfered with Chinese space exploration intentionally, and seem to believe that he will continue to do so.
Twice last year the Chinese Space Station Tiangong performed “evasive maneuvers” to “prevent a potential collision” with Starlink satellites launched by Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the government said in a Dec. 6 complaint to the U.N.