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Thu Apr 18, 2019, 09:05 PM

China to Launch Ambitious Asteroid-Comet Mission in 2022

By Mike Wall 5 hours ago Spaceflight

The spacecraft will explore a near-Earth asteroid and an odd rock in the asteroid belt.

The asteroid 2016 HO3 has an orbit around the sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth.(Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech )

China is expanding its robotic space-exploration plans far beyond the moon.

The nation, whose Chang'e 4 spacecraft pulled off the first-ever soft landing on the lunar far side this past January, aims to launch a bold mission just three years from now that will explore both an asteroid and a comet, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency.

The current plan, which is still under discussion, calls for a probe to visit and collect samples from the small near-Earth asteroid 2016 HO3 (also known as Kamo'oalewa).

"Then, the probe will fly back to the proximity of Earth, and a return capsule will be released to bring the samples back to Earth," Xinhua reported today (April 18), citing a China National Space Administration official. "After that, the probe will continue its journey. With the assistance of the gravity of Earth and Mars, it will finally arrive at the main asteroid belt and orbit the Comet 133P to explore it."


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Reply China to Launch Ambitious Asteroid-Comet Mission in 2022 (Original post)
Judi Lynn Apr 2019 OP
RT Atlanta Apr 2019 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 09:27 AM

1. exciting

I hope they can pull off the successful mission.

I remember at some point during the Obama tenure, there was - briefly - discussion about sending US astronauts to an asteroid for exploration. Would have been nice to see that come to pass.

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