China will float a 2-in-1 asteroid deflection mission in 2025. Also, a larger rocket will launch the first planetary defense test mission a year earlier. NASA did on its recent Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, and now China wants to change the orbit of a hazardous asteroid with an impactor spacecraft.
Read down below for more information about China’s plan.
What Exactly Is This Test DART?
DART collaborated with the European Space Agency called Hera, which should float in 2024, studying the ongoing impact site in detail.
China wants to target in one shot both the impact and close observation. The first plans were announced in April, and it should be revealed that the test would select a 2020 PN1 with 130 feet wide (40 meters) rock. The mission was to launch a Long March 3B rocket around 2026.
Here is what Wu Weiren, the chief designer of China’s lunar exploration program, said on November 24:
The first one is for surveying. Having studied it [the asteroid] thoroughly after a period of the survey, the other, an impactor, will follow our orders to collide with the asteroid and hopefully divert it three or five centimeters [one or two inches] away from its course.
Find Out More Details About This Spacecraft
The spacecraft will float together, but after being divided from the rocket, they will go on different trajectories to 2020 PN1. The surveyor will meet with the asteroid first, making observations before and after the planned impact.
The planned alteration in orbit would be perfect for notably altering the asteroid’s path over time.
Wu said that a three or five centimeters deviation would change the trajectory around three months by over 1,000 kilometers. Meanwhile, Wu emphasized the importance of eliminating threats of collisions with Earth.
Stay tuned for more information about space!