China to launch asteroid probe, calls for partners

phys.org | 1/14/2019 | Staff
ditranian (Posted by) Level 3
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China plans to launch an ambitious asteroid exploration mission and has invited collaborators to put their experiments on the probes, space agency officials said Thursday.

The 10-year mission will involve a probe sent to a near-Earth asteroid to collect samples, said Liu Jizhong, head of China's Exploration and Space Engineering Centre.

Collection - HO3 - Asteroid - Probe - Earth

After the sample collection from the 2016 HO3 asteroid, the probe will return to Earth orbit where it will split into two.

A capsule carrying the samples will return to Earth's surface, while a separate module will approach and orbit the comet 133P.

Timeline - Mission

No timeline has been set for the mission.

A similar call was made for the lunar probe Chang'e-6, whose launch date will depend on the success of its predecessor, Chang'e-5, which will launch by the end of this year.

France - National - Centre - Space - Studies

France's National Centre for Space Studies said last month that Chang'e-6 would carry French experiments.

Originally scheduled to collect moon samples in the...
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