China to send first-since forever ‘asteroid mining robot’ into space this November

China to send first-since forever ‘asteroid mining robot’ into space this November. China will send out the world’s first mining robot into space by November this year. A private Beijing company, Origin Space, will send out the world’s first mining robot — termed as an ‘asteroid mining robot’ — into space by November 2020, according to the IEEE Specturm report.

The robot will, notwithstanding, not do any actual mining. The mission will be a preliminary assessment of the asteroid mining robot’s capabilities of identifying and extracting valuable resources, aimed at the eventual mining of asteroids.

The 30-gram spacecraft, NEO-1, is probably going to be launched as a secondary payload on a Chinese Long March rocket, which will enter at an orbit around the earth at 500-kilometer altitude.

In an interview, Origin Space co-founder Yu Tianhong told the US magazine, “The goal is to confirm and demonstrate multiple functions, for example, spacecraft orbital maneuver, simulated small celestial body capture, intelligent spacecraft identification and control.”

The actual progress that can be made by the NEO-1 mission is subject to speculations, as it has never been attempted before. The project, if fruitful, can open up a trillion-dollar industry.

The mission will be a milestone for the space resources industry, the firm added. The Chinese company has another mission ‘Yuanwang-1’, nicknamed ‘Little Hubble’, which is slated to be launched by late 2021 or mid-2022.

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