After trying its hand at space exploration ambitions, China is now set to locate the first Earth-like planet in deep space.
According to a new report by Nature, China is now working to explore a planet ‘Earth 2.0’ in distant solar systems. The mission to find this Earth-like planet will be funded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
To successfully achieve this mission, the Chinese government-backed scientists will be exploring exoplanets orbiting a star like the Sun. It is important for this exoplanet to be in the ‘habitable zone’.
The biggest challenge in this mission is to spot the ‘Earth 2.0’ with the right conditions to support liquid water and human life.
Based on sources, astronomers will be releasing details about the mission in the month of May. As of now, they are finalising the early designs of this mission.
After that, the designs will have to pass a review by a panel of experts in the month of June.
Once the designs get approved, the project team will get funding to begin the process of building a satellite for the mission.
This satellite will include seven telescopes and help to search distant solar systems in four years.
Out of the seven telescopes, six will focus on the Cygnus–Lyra constellations, which was earlier observed by the NASA’s Kepler telescope for about a decade before retirement in 2018.
The astronomer leading the Earth 2.0 mission at the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences was recently in conversation with Nature. He said, “The Kepler field is a low-hanging fruit because we have very good data from there.”
“Our satellite can be 10–15 times more powerful than NASA’s Kepler telescope in its sky-surveying capacity”, he added.
As per reports, the Chinese telescopes will be monitoring a star’s brightness when a large object passes by it to spot the presence of an exoplanet.
About 300 scientists and engineers will be part of the team which will work to launch this spacecraft before the end of 2026.