The start-up, Origin Space, a space mining company based in Shenzhen, China, announced on Tuesday the launch of a prototype of the robot, NEO-01, that captures, using a large network, debris left by other spacecraft in low Earth orbit.
According to the Chinese Xinhua News Agency, The robot NEO-01 will also examine small celestial bodies in deep space, as it was launched with satellites on a Long March 6 missile.
For his part, the CNA news site stated, the robot NEO-01 weighs 30 kg and was developed to explore and use space resources and to pave the way for technologies capable of mining asteroids in the future.
Since the establishment of the world's first asteroid mining company in 2009, the American company Planetary Resources, more than 12 companies around the world have entered this emerging sector, including the American company D3 Systems for the manufacture of three dimensions, and the Japanese company Astroscale to remove Space waste.
Unlike Astroscale's technology, which uses magnets to collect space waste, the NEO-01 robot will use a network to capture debris and then incinerate it with an electric propulsion system, according to a report on the manufacturer's website.
Thousands of satellites around the world have been launched into space, and as they continue to be used, many of them end up becoming junk in space and pose a threat to other satellites, which are still in operation.
Origin Space founder Su Meng revealed in an interview with local media on 6 April that his company plans to launch dozens of space telescopes and more spacecraft to achieve the first commercial asteroid mining by 2045.
On Saturday, Xinhua said, China is intensifying its efforts to land a probe on a near-Earth asteroid to collect samples, as well as speeding up the plan to build a defense system against near-Earth asteroids.
Beijing has big space ambitions, aiming to catch up with Russia and the United States, and turn China into a major space power by 2030.