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China’s ambitions and challenges for asteroid–comet exploration

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Fig. 1: Overview of China’s asteroid–comet exploration mission.

NASA/JPL (asteroid image); NASA/JPL/University of Arizona (Jupiter image); NASA/Goddard/Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (Moon image); NASA/USGS (Mars image); NASA (Earth image).


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T.Z. is a China Scholarship Council Fellow and is grateful for the hospitality of the Department of Physical Intelligence in Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, where part of this work was done. The work in this paper is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant numbers 51905105, 51635002, 51775011 and 91748201), the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (grant number 2020A1515011262), the State Key Laboratory of Robotics and Systems (HIT) (grant number SKLRS-2020-KF12), and the Science and Technology Plan Project of Guangzhou (grant number 202102020364).

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X.D., K.X. and T.Z. designed the framework. K.X. and T.Z. wrote the content and X.D. revised it.

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Correspondence to Xilun Ding.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Zhang, T., Xu, K. & Ding, X. China’s ambitions and challenges for asteroid–comet exploration. Nat Astron 5, 730–731 (2021).

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