China plans a mission to Cerera

China plans a mission to Cerera

The Chinese Academy of Sciences is considering several potential missions, including a probe to visit the Ceres, and is also considering the construction of a huge telescope to find clues about the nature of dark matter.

NASA and the European Space Agency are preparing for the development of "medium-class" missions.

In addition, more than 20 candidates are currently fighting for funding to continue their education under the strategic priority programme on space science . Proposals are currently being evaluated by a group of experts who will make recommendations on priorities in the second half of 2022, and selected missions will then be able to further develop and possibly see light in the next decade.

Is there gonna be a flight to Ceres soon?

The proposals cover the fields of space astronomy and astrophysics, the space weather programme, the experimental gravitational satellite and the Cerera mission, of which VLAST and Cers missions are most promising.

Opened by Giuseppe Piazzi in 1801, Cerera is the largest object in the asteroid belt. This dwarf planet has been of interest to the scientific community since the first flight of the American Dawn probe in 2015. Analysis of data collected by the probe suggests that the dwarf planet is an oceanic world under which liquid and salt water flow.

If the Chinese mission were to be launched, it would be able to improve our understanding of the Ceres and, as a result, the other oceanic worlds of the solar system.

The VLAST telescope will search for dark matter signals in gamma radiation. According to an article published in the journal Acta Astronomica Sinica last May, such an observatory will increase the sensitivity of the Fermi Large Area Telescope by a factor of 10.

In the near future, the Chinese Academy of Sciences is evaluating 13 missions for possible implementation in the period 2025-2030 as part of the SPP III mission series.