Researchers at China’s national space administration are planning to conduct experiments on dangerous rocky asteroids through the kinetic impactor technique, in which the cautionary asteroid will be hit intentionally with an immense amount of thrust, thereby drifting it away from its original course. The project will be part of China’s planetary defense plan, which is going to have long-term implications for the safety of the Earth. Experts are of the opinion that once China’s asteroid defense system has been practically launched, it would be of great assistance in determining the unexpected behavior of the asteroids and would also demonstrate the possibility of such asteroids hitting the earth in the future. In an interview with China Central Television, Wu said, “China will move forward with the establishment of a near-Earth asteroid monitoring and defense system to cope with the threat of an asteroid striking on spacecraft and contribute to the protection of the Earth and mankind.”
According to Wu, “The mission is planned to take place around the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021–2025), or in 2026. The technology would aid in dealing with the threat posed by near-Earth objects to humanity, as well as provide a fresh contribution to China in the future”. As of now, the project is in its completion phase, waiting for approval from multiple divisions. Besides China, other agencies like NASA and the European Space Agency have also undergone these experiments. NASA has already inaugurated and set its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) into motion in November 2021. However, the European Space Agency has plans to launch its “Hera Mission” to Didymos and Dimorphos in the coming years to determine the potential impacts caused by NASA’s DART mission.
According to Li, “Currently, the most viable way to avert such an impact is to strike a dangerous asteroid and cause it to reverse course. To do this, China will require a carrier rocket with extremely high thrust, putting China at the forefront of the world’s asteroid defense technology. ” Thus, to further extend this mission, China is also going to set up a combined asteroid sample return and combat rendezvous mission before 2025 to explore the space guard system and to determine some nitty-gritties for that subject matter in order to protect Earth from such objects in the future.