China’s Tianwen-2 Mission Intends to Collect Asteroid Rocks

China’s Tianwen-2 mission is prepared to begin a scientific exploration of asteroids and comets. This is after the Tianwen-1 mission’s successful launch and operation.  The mission has obtained official approval. Preparations are already in motion for its launch, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA). Tianwen-2 will aim for the small near-Earth asteroid 2016 HO3, as opposed to the last mission, which was dispatched to Mars.

The goal of this mission is to gather rock and soil samples from the asteroid’s surface. The mission aims to bring the samples back to Earth to conduct a more detailed investigation. Throughout the course of the solar system’s formation more than 4.6 billion years ago, rocky pieces called asteroids were created. The term “near-Earth object” refers to an asteroid that is less than 1.3 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun from the sun. This categorization is offered by the NASA Joint Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Tianwen-2 will track main-belt comet 311P in addition to collecting samples from the asteroid as part of its mission, which goes beyond this. An academic seminar in April will be used to finalize the mission’s scientific objectives. In addition, it will finalize the technological advancements needed to accomplish them.

In February 2021, China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Mars. In a little over a year, the orbiter explored the whole planet. Through capturing images of canyons, craters, and other surface features on Mars, the spacecraft was able to achieve this. In the largest known impact basin on the Red Planet, the Zhurong rover, which was part of the mission, set down and investigated a sizable plain. The rover went into winter sleep but hasn’t been able to emerge from it.  Chinese scientists are frantically trying to determine what went wrong. This is because the rover was solar-powered rather than nuclear-powered like other American rovers.

With achievements like the first lunar far side landing and the first successful Mars mission, China’s space program has advanced recently. According to the nation’s lofty goals for space exploration, a space station will be built and people will eventually be sent to the Moon.

Asteroids contain stony bits that can be collected and studied. This is due to the fact that they possess information regarding the formation and evolution of the solar system spanning billions of years. The Tianwen-2 mission has set its sights on the small near-Earth asteroid 2016 HO3. Its collection of samples will give researchers important knowledge about the asteroid’s past and current makeup.

The Tianwen-2 mission aims to deepen China’s understanding of the solar system. It will do so by exploring asteroids and comets, representing another important turning point in the country’s space program. The mission’s goal to gather and examine samples from 2016 HO3 is expected to yield priceless information. A more comprehensive comprehension of the asteroid’s origins and composition will be enabled through this. The Chinese space program is anticipated to keep making outstanding progress in the field of space exploration. It will solidify its position as a significant player in the international space race.