China Will Launch an Asteroid Probe, The Chinese Space Agency Announced


Chinese space agency officials declared on Thursday that China has plans to launch an ambitious asteroid exploration mission and has called partners to place their experiment on the probe.

Liu Jizhong, head of China’s Exploration and Space Engineering Centre said that the 10-year mission would concern a probe sent to an asteroid near to Earth to obtain samples. The probe will return to Earth, where in orbit will split into two, after the sample acquisition from the 2016 HO3 asteroid. A part of the spacecraft containing the samples will return to Earth, and the other module will approach and orbit the comet 133P. The mission has no timeline.

Chang’e-6’s lunar probe was made somehow similar to the above mission, whose dispatch will rely on the success of its predecessor, Chang’e-5, which will launch by the end of this year.

Chang’e-6 would bear French experiments, France’s National Centre for Space Studies said the previous month. The spacecraft was initially set to collect lunar samples in the second part of the year 2017, but the mission was postponed after its planned carrier, the powerful Long March 5 Y2 rocket failed during a separate launch in July 2017.

China will launch an asteroid probe soon

The Chinese space agency declared this year that two more explorations had been prepared, having the final objective of building a communal lunar search base.

China made huge steps towards their goal to achieve space superpower position when it became the first country to land a probe on the far side of the lunar surface on January 3. Data collected from Chang’e-4 was given to officials from the Netherlands, Sweden, and Germany who had set up instruments on the capsule.

China is now second to the United States on spending more on its civil and military space programmes, surpassing Russia and Japan. Its budget was estimated at around $8.4 billion by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, although the fact is a little bit unclear.


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