China eyes asteroid exploration in future: expert

2022-04-24 Editor : Zhao Li ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- Sunday marks the seventh Space Day of China. Following the successful landing of China's Mars probe Tianwen-1 on Mars, China is looking to the future development of its planetary exploration program by exploring asteroids next, said an official from the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

China will complete its planetary exploration program within 10 to 15 years, said Wu Yanhua, vice administrator of CNSA. In the next following years, China will launch asteroid probes to sample near-earth asteroids and probe main-belt comets. It will complete key technological research on Mars sampling and return, exploration of the Jupiter system, and so forth, according to Wu.

Alongside that, China will also study plans for boundary exploration of the solar system. It will further expand the carrier rocket family and speed up the R&D of heavy-lift carrier rockets, which are expected to launch in recent years, Wu added.

The heavy-lift carrier rockets are capable of sending a payload of 50-100 tons into near-Earth orbit. It will serve China’s deep space exploration and lunar manned mission.

The Tianwen-1 Mars probe, the country's first Mars mission, was launched into space aboard China's largest heavy-lift carrier rocket Long March-5 on July 23, 2020 from Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan Province, southern China.

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