NASA: Mystery object is 54-year-old rocket, not asteroid
December 3, 2020
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A mysterious object temporarily orbiting Earth is a 54-year-old rocket, not an asteroid after all, astronomers confirmed Wednesday.
Observations by a telescope in Hawaii clinched its identity, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
The object was classified as an asteroid after its discovery in September. But NASA's top asteroid expert, Paul Chodas, quickly suspected it was the Centaur upper rocket stage from Surveyor 2, a failed 1966 moon-landing mission. Size estimates had put it in the range of the old Centaur, which was abou...