China will launch a miner robot into space

The private Chinese company Origin Space, which develops extraterrestrial space resources,

is about to launch its first spacerobot miner "in November 2020. Their NEO-1 device is a small satellite that weighs about 30 kg. It is designed to enter a sun-synchronous orbit. It will be launched with a Chinese Long March rocket as a secondary payload.

This small spacecraft will notengage in real mining, and at first only test the technologies that will make it possible to do this in the future. “The mission is to test and demonstrate many features such as spacecraft orbital maneuver, small celestial body capture, intelligent identification and spacecraft control,” said Origin Space co-founder Yu Tianhong.

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Origin Space, formed in 2017,calls itself the first Chinese space-focused firm. China's private space sector emerged following a government decision in 2014 to develop the industry. They will primarily focus on mining asteroids.

The next mission, Yuanwang-1, is scheduled for2021 year. The satellite development deal was struck earlier this year with DFH Satellite, Ltd., a subsidiary of China's main state-owned space contractor CASC.

The satellite will be equipped with an opticala telescope designed to observe and monitor asteroids in near-Earth space. Origin Space notes that identifying suitable targets is the first step towards harnessing space resources.

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