Asteroid is an old rocket



It turns out that the asteroid that was discovered in September is a 54-year-old rocket.

After his discovery, Paul Chodas, NASA’s first asteroid expert, suspected as the upper rocket stage of Centaur of Surveyor 2. Surveyor 2 is a 1966 failed satellite landing mission. The size estimates of the unknown object are about 31 feet long and 10 feet in diameter, quite close to those of the old centaur.

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According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the rocket’s identity was confirmed by a crew led by Vishnu Reddy of the University of Arizona with an infrared telescope in Hawaii.

This September 20, 1966 photo provided by the San Diego Air and Space Museum shows an Atlas Centaur 7 rocket on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, FL.

Previously referred to as 2020 SO, last month, the rocket entered a wide, lapsided orbit around the Earth and, on December 1, it was the closest approach to just 31,000 miles. It is expected to return in 2036 for another close approach.

“Today’s news was very happy! “This is a collaboration that has wrapped up the puzzle,” Chodas said via email.

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Source: Phys.org

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