We are visited by Relic of the Early Space Age

– In the early hours of Tuesday morning, no object in space about 27,000 miles through Earth. Budget 20 has been given the descriptive designation of “2020 SO”, and while no one knows for sure what it is, NASA researchers have made an interesting guess. In short, they think it’s the remnants of a failed mission to the moon in 1966, reports say. New York Times. More specifically, it appears to be a high-phase rocket booster from NASA’s Doomed Surveyor 2 mission per NASA. The unmanned mission sent a lander to take photos ahead of the Apollo flights, but the spacecraft crashed into the moon and was destroyed. Its rocket booster, however, was already detached and flew into space through the moon. Now, it seems, the booster has come home, at least temporarily.

“It was like a Eureka moment when a quick check of the initial dates for the lunar mission showed a match with the Surveyor 2 mission,” says Paul L. Chodas, manager of Earth Ject Project Studies near NASA’s Center Four for CNET. He is referring to the Nifty Something that may have solved the puzzle. After Maui’s astronomers discovered the spot object in September, Chodas orbited his bit and concluded that it probably came from Earth in September 1966, when Surveyor 2 was launched. An analysis of Tuesday morning’s flyby could confirm that it is indeed a mission rocket booster. Until 2020 SO, it won’t be with us for long. The Object object will escape Earth orbit in March and return to orbit around the Sun for at least some time. “In 2036, it’s coming back,” Chodas says. (China has recently launched its own ambitious lunar mission.)