It is a space mission straight from the Hollywood film Armageddon.
A team of astronauts are being trained to land on an asteroid to explore its surface, search for minerals and even learn the skills they may need to destroy it should one pose a threat to the Earth.
Nasa, the US space agency, is planning to send humans far further than they have ever been before to by making contact with an asteroid up to three million miles away by the end of the next decade.
It would take astronauts far beyond the current limit of human endeavour – the Moon, which is 239,000 miles from Earth.
Travelling at around 50,000 miles per hour around the Sun with almost non-existent gravity due to their small size, landing safely on these space rocks will present a significant challenge.