NASA expert identifies mysterious extraterrestrial object as old Centaur rocket booster

Earth may get a new “mini-moon” soon.

But it’s probably just an old rocket booster from 1966.

The mysterious extraterrestrial object once called “asteroid 2020 SO” now appears to be an old rocket from a failed moon-landing mission 54 years ago, according to NASA’s leading asteroid expert Paul Chodas.

The “asteroid” was on track to get nabbed by Earth’s gravitational pull and become a small moon next month.

The formerly known asteroid may actually be the Centaur upper-rocket stage that successfully propelled NASA’s Surveyor 2 lander to the moon in 1966. According to NASA, the lander ended up colliding into the moon after one of its thrusters failed to ignite.


Last month, this mysterious object was detected by a telescope in Hawaii, according to Space.com’s Meghan Bartels. The object is roughly estimated to be 26 feet based on its brightness—near the length of the old Centaur, which now would be

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