China’s space programme plans first mission to the sun

China is planning to launch its first solar mission next year.The probe, code-named the Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S), is scheduled for lift-off in the first half of 2022. Orbiting 720km (447 miles) above the Earth it will “perform 24-hour continuous observation” for at least four years, state news agency Xinhua said on Thursday.The probe would carry a magnetic detector, a solar telescope and an X-ray imager to track the sun’s magnetic fields and stormy activities, which were…