Beijing, Apr 25 (EFE).- China has begun to develop a defense system against asteroids that pose a collision threat to the Earth, and a test could be conducted as early as 2025, official media reported on Monday.
China Daily quoted Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration, saying that the agency had started forming a research and development system to monitor, warn, and handle the extraterrestrial hazards.
“We will make plans for the defense system, develop defense simulation software, and arrange exercises for essential procedures. 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,” Wu said.
He said the first step would be to set up a comprehensive tracking and early-warning network with the deployment of satellites and ground facilities.
“We need to categorize near-Earth asteroids and then analyze which will likely become a threat to humankind. Then we will study the technologies that can be used to neutralize the hazards,” he said.
“Near-Earth asteroids need to be categorized and analyzed which of them could be a threat to humanity,” Wu said.
He said technologies to “neutralize the dangers” would be investigated later.
The CNSA plans to carry out an experimental mission in 2025 or 2026 to launch a craft to observe and then take action against an asteroid, which scientists believe poses potential hazards.
The mission would “verify technologies and methods” to divert an asteroid heading for Earth.
It is the first time China has revealed a specific road map for defense against near-Earth asteroids.
Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said last year that rockets could be used to divert the trajectory of a threatening object.
In recent years, China has heavily invested in its space program and has achieved milestones such as the Chang’e 4 probe landing on the far side of the Moon in 2019, becoming the first country to do so. EFE