China 2021-05-10T04:01:34+03:00
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China launches robot prototype capable of catching space debris with net

China launches robot prototype capable of catching space debris with net

science, China, space, satellite, PRC
China's space program, NEO-01 satellite (China). Animation by Xinhua.
China's space program, NEO-01 satellite (China). Animation by Xinhua.

A Chinese space mining start-up launched into low Earth orbit a robot prototype that can scoop up debris left behind by other spacecraft with a big net.

The NEO-01, which will also peer into deep space to observe small celestial bodies, was launched on the government's Long March 6 rocket along with a handful of satellites, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

"The 30kg robot developed by Shenzhen-based Origin Space will pave the way for future technologies capable of mining on asteroids", – according to the company.

China's space program, NEO-01 satellite (China). Animation by Xinhua.

Unlike Astroscale's technology, which uses magnets to gather up space junk, NEO-01 will use a net to capture debris and then burn it with its electric propulsion system, according to a report on the company's website.

Xinhua reported on Saturday that China was stepping up efforts to land a probe on a near-Earth asteroid to collect samples, and also expediting a plan to build a defence system against near-Earth asteroids.

China's space program, NEO-01 satellite (China). Animation by Xinhua.

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