China: World’s First Asteroid Mining Robot to be launched

Published: October 2, 2020

China is set to launch the first asteroid mining robot in the world by November 2020. The main objective of the mission is to assess capabilities of robots in asteroid mining. The robot will identify and extract valuable resources.

Highlights

The robot to be sent has been named “Asteroid Mining Robot”. It is to be launched by a space Start up of China. The robot is to be launched by a Long March Series rocket. The mission will open a trillion dollar industry if it succeeds.

The start up has also been working on a mission called “Yuanwang-1”

About the Robot

The Robot will not be engaged in mining activities. However, it will test technologies. The aim is to assess the capabilities of the robot in asteroid mining and find how well its can identify and extract resources through asteroid mining. Also, the project will verify other technologies such as intelligent spacecraft identification, orbital maneuver and control.

Yuanwang-1

The Mission is to be launched in 2021 or 2022. It has been nick named “Little Hubble”. The mission involves lunar landing eventually.

ZhengHe

This is another asteroid exploration space mission of China that is set to be launched between 2022-24. The main objectives of the mission are flyby observations, robotic landing, global remote sensing and sample return.

Future Space Missions of the Chinese

The other planned missions of the Chinese are as follows

  • Mars Sample Return Mission. This is to be launched in 2028-30. The mission will bring mars soil samples by 2031.
  • Jupiter Exploration Mission. This includes orbital exploration and study of four largest moons of Jupiter, especially Ganymede. It will also study internal composition of atmosphere of Jupiter.
  • Mission to Uranus. This is to be launched after 2030. The mission will study the solar wind and inter planetary magnetic field.

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