Almost every new body observed in the sky is an asteroid, and that was the assumption for this body as well. Designation WE0913A has been granted.
However, WE0913A was found to orbit the Earth, not the Sun, which makes it most likely something that came from Earth. Gray said he thought it might be part of the rocket that launched DSCOVR. More data confirmed that WE0913A passed the moon two days after the launch of DSCOVR, which appears to confirm the identification.
Gray now realizes that his mistake was to think of launching DSCOVR on a trajectory toward the Moon and using its gravity to ferry the spacecraft to its final destination about a million miles from Earth, where the spacecraft will provide a warning of solar storms.
But, as Mr. Giorgini pointed out, DSCOVR was actually launched on a direct trajectory not beyond the Moon.
“I really wish I had reviewed this,” Gray said before his January announcement. “But yes, as soon as John Georgini pointed it out, it was clear that I was already wrong.”
SpaceX, which did not respond to a request for comment, did not say that the WE0913A was not a launchpad for its missile. But she may not have located her either. Most of the time, a Falcon 9’s second stage is pushed back into the atmosphere to burn up. In this case, the missile needs all of its propellant to transport DSCOVR to its distant destination.