"Mission set to collect sample from asteroid"


China intends to carry out a mission to collect a sample from the smallest and closest "quasi-satellite" to Earth around 2025, said a key figure in the country's deep-space exploration program.

Zhang Rongqiao, chief designer of China's Mars exploration effort, said on Friday that Chinese space authorities have chosen the 2016 HO3, a small asteroid, as the target for the mission.

The preliminary idea is to use a large carrier rocket to send a probe, which will consist of two parts-an orbiter and a re-entry module, toward the asteroid, he said.