NASA releases impact photographs of 'mystery' spacecraft that crashed into the moon

The impact craters on the moon
No space-going countries have yet claimed responsibility for the UFO. Photo credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

It's enough to send alien conspiracy theorists wild - NASA has published images of an unknown spacecraft that crashed into the moon, and no-one is quite sure where it came from.

Elon Musk's SpaceX was the first to be fingered, with China's space agency then copping the blame - but the mystery rocket's origin still remains a mystery.

According to NASA, astronomers knew a rocket body was going to collide with the moon late last year.

That impact occurred on March 4, 2022 (US time), with the agency's Lunar Orbiter later spotting the resulting crater and taking photographs which have just been released.

The first surprise was it turned out to be two craters, which could well be a clue to understanding exactly where it came from.

The craters aren't small either - the larger easter crater measures around 18 metres in diameter, with the smaller western crater measuring 16 metres.

NASA says two holes "may indicate that the rocket body had large masses at each end".

"Typically a spent rocket has mass concentrated at the motor end; the rest of the rocket stage mainly consists of an empty fuel tank.

"Since the origin of the rocket body remains uncertain, the double nature of the crater may indicate its identity," NASA said in a news release.

According to the agency, no other rocket body that crashes into the Moon creates double craters.

The four that were created by Apollos 13, 14, 15 and 17 were "substantially larger", at more than 35 metres across, meaning the maximum 29 metre width of the double crater of the mystery rocket body is smaller than the Apollo S-IVBs.

As of yet, not one of the space-exploring nations have claimed responsibility for the projectile, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Maybe ET heard our borders were open again?

The news comes just a few weeks after NASA announced it was setting up a team to look at unidentified aerial phenomena (AEP), what we used to call UFOs.

UAPs are "observations of events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena", with the small number making it difficult to draw conclusions about their nature..

"Unidentified phenomena in the atmosphere are of interest for both national security and air safety," NASA said at the time.

"Establishing which events are natural provides a key first step to identifying or mitigating such phenomena, which aligns with one of NASA's goals to ensure the safety of aircraft."