The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has confirmed that they are set to undertake 60 space launches this year.
One of their missions will focus on deploying a system that will detect asteroids that pose as a threat to earth. To check the viability of the system, Chinese officials have said that they will send a spacecraft towards an asteroid sometime in 2025 or 2026 to study it and then later change its course.
Deputy Director of the CNSA Wu Yanhua detailed how the mission will be carried out.
“We will make plans for the defence system, develop defence simulation software and arrange exercises for essential procedures,” he said.
“We want to share our solutions with other members in the international community and work with others to safeguard the mother planet’s safety and its people.
“We will use the experiment to verify technologies and methods on how to deflect an asteroid heading for Earth.”
He also went on to say that these missions “will allow us to explore ways to avoid extraterrestrial bodies’ threat to Earth”.
An agreement was signed in January between Russia and China that will aim for both countries to build a base on the moon. China had the most space missions last year, notching up a total of 55 launches.
Pang Zhihao, a space industry observer in China stated that these systems will be important for earth and humanity.
“Although the odds of a large asteroid hitting Earth are very low, it is necessary for space communities around the world to join hands in establishing a universal early-warning and response system so that people will no longer need to be worried about it,” he said.
Currently, NASA has an asteroid watch program known as The Asteroid Terrestrial Impact Last Alert System. It uses telescopes in Hawaii, Chile, and South Africa, providing updates of the skies every 24 hours.