China is set to launch an Impactar spacecraft in a bid to alter the trajectory of an asteroid, according to the latest information from the country’s space agency. The ambitious mission aims to deflect the asteroid from its current path, potentially saving Earth from a catastrophic impact.
The China National Space Administration (CNSA) created the Impactar spacecraft with the intention of impacting the asteroid and altering its velocity. In July 2023, the spacecraft will launch from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in the Hainan province atop a Long March 5 rocket.
Astronomers at the Lulin Observatory in Taiwan found the target asteroid, 2023 LV3, in 2020. It has a diameter of around 200 metres, and its present course puts it in danger of colliding with Earth in the year 2112.
The Impactar spacecraft is anticipated to arrive at the asteroid in 2026, and the collision will take place in 2028. The CNSA has highlighted that international organisations would closely monitor the mission to make sure it doesn’t endanger any other spacecraft or the Earth.