China to carry talks on constructing asteroid defence system

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BEIJING (Reuters) -China will hold discussion on building a defence system against near-earth asteroids, a senior space agency official said on Saturday, as the country steps up efforts towards realizing its longer term space ambitions.

Zhang Kejian, head of the China National Space Administration, didn’t provide any further details in his opening remarks at a ceremony for China’s space day in the eastern city of Nanjing.

China has made space exploration a top priority in recent years, aiming to establish a programme operating thousands of space flights a year and carrying tens of thousands of tonnes of cargo and passengers by 2045.

It signed a memorandum of understanding last month with Russia to set up an international lunar research station.

The European space agency last year signed a deal worth 129 million euros ($156.08 million) to make a spacecraft for a joint project with NASA looking at how to deflect an asteroid heading for earth.

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