China plans to deflect an asteroid by 2030 to showcase Earth protection skills

China is planning its first mission to impact an asteroid in the name of planetary defense. The mission will serve a dual purpose: One craft will impact the asteroid while its partner observes the space rock to learn more about the solar system and its formation.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) mission may have already selected its target — the near-Earth object (NEO) 2015 XF261, a nearly 100-foot-wide (30 meters) asteroid.

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