Russia joins China’s mission to sample an asteroid and study a comet

China has selected a Russian science payload to fly on an upcoming mission to sample a near-Earth asteroid and later visit a main-belt comet.

China is aiming to launch the ambitious mission around 2024. First, it will collect samples from the small near-Earth asteroid Kamo’oalewa. Then, the spacecraft will return to Earth to deliver the samples and use the planet’s gravity to send the spacecraft toward the main asteroid belt to orbit the Comet 133P/Elst–Pizarro.

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