China to send world's first asteroid mining robot into space in November: Report
The goal of the Chinese space mission will be to assess the asteroid mining robot’s capabilities – to find out how well it can identify and extract valuable resources vis-à-vis asteroid mining.
September 28, 2020 / 07:35 PM IST
A space start-up in China is all set to send out the world’s first mining robot into space to identify and extract resources. Origin Space, the Beijing-based company, will be sending out the world’s first mining robot named ‘asteroid mining robot’ into space by November 2020.
An IEEE Spectrum report stated that the asteroid mining robot will be launched into space by a Chinese Long March series rocket.
The robot will not be actually engaging in any mining work, but it will be testing technologies. The goal of the mission will be to assess the asteroid mining robot’s capabilities – to find out how well it can identify and extract valuable resources vis-à-vis asteroid mining.
Origin Space co-founder Yu Tianhong said: “The goal is to verify and demonstrate multiple functions such as spacecraft orbital manoeuvre, simulated small celestial body capture, intelligent spacecraft identification and control.”
If the NEO-1 mission turns out to be a success, it may open up a trillion-dollar industry.
Notably, Chinese company Origin Space is also working on another mission currently. The ‘Yuanwang-1’, which has been nicknamed ‘Little Hubble’, is set for a late 2021 or early 2022 launch. The mission will involve a lunar landing eventually, but the rest of the course is reportedly still being worked upon.