China is planning an asteroid deflection test mission by 2025, according to a report published in Space News. 

The new move from China comes at a time when the space race is getting heated up between the Asian giant and the United States. Earlier, it has been reported that the US is developing a planetary defense weapon to protect the earth from possible asteroid impacts. 

China is working on asteroid deflecting machine
China is working on asteroid deflecting machinePixabay

China's planetary defense system

According to sources, China will use a kinetic impactor test to alter the orbit of a potentially harmful asteroid as part of its trials for a planetary defence system.

According to the state-run news portal Global Times, Wu Yanhua, deputy head of the China National Space Administration, declared that the mission will be launched in the coming four years.

Wu recently told China Central Television (CCTV) that the mission will take place around the conclusion of the 14th Five-Year Plan term (2021-2025) or in 2026.

China's ambitious space missions

China will explore plans for constructing a near-earth object defence mechanism and improve the capability of near-earth object monitoring, cataloguing, early warning, and reaction throughout the 2021-2025 period, according to a space "white paper" issued in January.

China is also planning a project on a combined asteroid sample return and comet rendezvous mission. The mission will target Earth's quasi-satellite Kamooalewa, send samples to Earth, and then go for a rendezvous with main-belt comet 311P/PANSTARRS, which is prepared to launch before 2025.

Researchers agree that China's asteroid defence system might be a useful addition in combating the threat of asteroids colliding with Earth, and it is another practical key that China is proposing to help humanity form a society with a shared destiny.

In November 2021, NASA launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). The spacecraft will crash with Dimorphos, a minor planet moon circling the near-Earth asteroid Didymos in September 2022.

Later in the decade, the European Space Agency will also deploy its Hera mission to Didymos and Dimorphos to investigate the impacts of the DART project.