China plans to capture an asteroid and bring it down to Earth
A team of Chinese scientists are planning to capture an asteroid to study it and possibly mine it for its resources.
CHINA — A group of Chinese scientists are planning to capture a small asteroid near Earth to study it for its resources.
So far, the scientists have targeted an asteroid which is 6.4 meters in diameter and weighs several hundred tons, reports Xinhua.
Li Ming Tao, a researcher involved with the project, said they aim to "turn asteroids with a potential threat to Earth into usable resources."
The Chinese scientists plan to send a spacecraft with a huge bag which would wrap around a small asteroid and push it to Earth.
The spacecraft would then unfold a heat shield which would "reduce the velocity of the asteroid" from 12.5 kilometers per second to 140 meters per second when it enters Earth's atmosphere.
The scientists plan to study the asteroid and may choose to mine it for its resources.
The asteroids may contain traces of history about the origins of the solar system and the origin of water and life on our planet, Xinhua reports.
The team plans to launch the asteroid catcher by 2029 and bring back an asteroid by 2034.
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