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