A prototype of the space mining vehicle was sent into its planned orbit on Tuesday, from the Taiwan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi Province, north China, Xinhua reported.
The NEO-01 spacecraft, developed by the Chinese commercial space company Origin Space Co., Ltd., was among a total of nine satellites sent into space by the "Long March 6" carrier rocket on Tuesday.
The experiments will be conducted to test the spacecraft's capabilities in mining asteroids and removing space debris, said Su Meng, founder of the company.
Su added that the craft will serve as a prototype for space mining robots, which can use mineral resources in asteroids to support the development of the space industry.
The company was founded in 2019 and is headquartered in Shenzhen, the China Technology Center, and the company is dedicated to exploring and exploiting space resources, according to the company.