China to test ‘planetary defence system’ soon to defend Earth from space threats

China will try to deflect a deadly asteroid from crashing into Earth in the next three years using a hi-tech new 'planetary defence system'.

Wu Yanhua of the China National Space Administration—China's equivalent to NASA—told a Chinese news channel that the country is drafting a planetary defence plan designed to counter threats from near-Earth asteroids.

They will build an early warning system for deadly asteroids and run simulations on potential collisions, before launching an ambitious mission to alter the course of an asteroid as it hurtles towards Earth.

The mission will take place as soon as 2025 or 2026, and help the whole planet avoid a fate like that of the dinosaurs.

If successful, the planet would have an extra layer of protection against extraterrestrial threats.

In November, NASA launched its own Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) to collide with an asteroid's moon.

Crashing spacecraft asteroids can nudge them a few feet in a different direction, altering the course of their orbit dramatically over long distances.

NASA is currently tracking a huge asteroid making a 'near Earth approach' this year. The space rock is estimated to be up to 2.5km in diameter, or five times the size of the London Eye.

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It is predicted to travel at 23,200 miles per hour, and has been listed by NASA as one of many 'potentially hazardous objects' in space.

Luckily, it will miss Earth by about two million miles, which is a good thing as the kind of planetary defence systems being worked on by China and NASA are still a way off.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has previously argued that the risk of a gigantic asteroid wiping out humanity is one good reason for humans to colonise Mars.

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