After US, China plans 'Deep Impact' mission- The Economic Times
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After US, China plans 'Deep Impact' missionAdd to Clippings

REUTERS
[ THURSDAY, JULY 07, 2005 12:41:12 AM]
NRI Special Offer!
BEIJING: China is drawing up its own version of the US-built Deep Impact probe, media reported on Wednesday, two days after the American spacecraft smashed into a comet.

The third nation to launch a man into space has lofty space ambitions that include putting two astronauts into orbit this September and eventually sending up a space station and even a manned mission to the moon.

“Actually, our country has its own Deep Impact plans, it’s just we’ve never revealed them to the public before,” the Beijing News quoted Chinese astronomer Zhao Haibin as saying.

“Right now, our focus is on a moon probe, but once that’s successful, we will immediately start pursuing this plan.”

The main goal of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Deep Impact mission was to knock free primordial materials from the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 that could unlock the secret of how life formed on Earth.

China’s mission would instead be mainly aimed at protecting the planet from being hit by a comet or asteroid, Mr Zhao said, referring to the kind of doomsday scenario shown in the 1998 film “Deep Impact”, for which the US spacecraft was named.
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