China to Establish Defense System Against Near-Earth Asteroids

Sunday is Space Day in China, as well as the 52nd anniversary of the successful launch of China’s first artificial earth satellite, Dongfanghong-I (DFH-1).

Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), said in a recent exclusive interview with CCTV reporters that China will set out to establish a defense system against near-earth asteroids to jointly deal with the threats of the asteroids’ impact and contribute to the protection of the earth and human society.

The monitoring and pre-alarm system for near-earth asteroids will analyze what threats are seriously dangerous. Accordingly, it will study and explore relevant technologies to remove these threats. Meanwhile the near-earth asteroid defense system will work out a preparation plan and develop a simulation deduction software against near-earth asteroids, organizing the basic process deduction.

China strives to carry out a test in terms of a threatening asteroid at the end of “14th Five-Year Plan” Period – namely in 2025 or 2026 – which not only involves a close observation, but also the close impact conducting technical experiments on changing its orbit.

In addition, in recent years, the space debris generated by the increasing number of various satellites and spacecrafts of different functions puts forward higher requirements for the orbit planning and operation of subsequent launch missions. Therefore, in order to make better use of space zones, China will build a high-quality asteroid monitoring and pre-warning system to ensure the safe, stable and orderly operation of its spacecrafts.

Lu Bo, deputy director of the Department of System Engineering of CNSA, previously revealed that China still has many tasks in the space and the China Space Station will complete the on-orbit construction task in 2022. In the fourth phase of the lunar exploration program, the major project of asteroids’ exploration officially started the program development, and CASC’s interplanetary exploration continued its new journeys.

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