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NASA announces asteroid plans

Posted on Thursday, 11 April, 2013 | Comment icon 15 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf


Image credit: NASA

 
NASA has confirmed its long-expected asteroid retrieval mission as a precursor to a manned trip.

The plan would involve identifying an interesting asteroid and then using a spacecraft to bring it in to orbit around the Moon. The ambitious endeavor would then see a manned mission to land on the asteroid and for astronauts to disembark and walk on its surface. There are also plans to explore asteroid mining possibilities and other concepts. The mission is a stepping stone towards the eventual goal of sending humans to Mars.

"This mission represents an unprecedented technological feat that will lead to new scientific discoveries and technological capabilities and help protect our home planet," said NASA administrator Charles Bolden. "This asteroid initiative brings together the best of NASA's science, technology and human exploration efforts to achieve the president's goal of sending humans to an asteroid by 2025."

"NASA wants to identify an interesting asteroid flying around deep space, figure out a way to capture the spinning and hard-to-grab orb, nudge it into our planetary region and then set it into orbit around the moon, the agency announced Wednesday."

  View: Full article

 Source: National Geographic


  Discuss: View comments (15)

   


 

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by coolguy on 12 April, 2013, 3:40
Sounds like an old 50's science fiction movie to me. Nasa dont want to put us in space but they wanna land on an asteroid lol
Comment icon #7 Posted by krypter3 on 12 April, 2013, 5:03
Let's go to the moon YAY WE DID IT (maybe) 50 years later We can hardly even get back, and now we want to try and get on a moving target. Anyone else think Nasa's eyes are getting greedy. We should be focusing on the moon, if we could set up something there then it would be so much easier to launch space missions no?
Comment icon #8 Posted by skookum on 12 April, 2013, 10:03
They're being so vague about the reasoning behind this... what's the point? Yeah I am a bit baffled. If it is going to be in orbit around the moon, why not just go back to the moon. Far more interesting.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 13 April, 2013, 9:59
Yeah I am a bit baffled. If it is going to be in orbit around the moon, why not just go back to the moon. Far more interesting. Obama has directed NASA to send astronauts to an asteroid by 2025, the reasoning for this is that we need to examine one up close to learn the best way to protect the Earth from them, so the mission itself makes sense. The problem for NASA is that to visit a Near Earth asteroid in it's own orbit would require a mission lasting several months and Orion simply will not be ready for such long missions by then. Bringing the asteroid to lunar orbit will reduce the manned p... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Merc14 on 15 April, 2013, 16:16
Why not put it in earth orbit? I am guessing it has something to do with orbital speed.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 15 April, 2013, 17:28
Why not put it in earth orbit? I am guessing it has something to do with orbital speed. Technically the orbit chosen is an Earth orbit as it is likely to be placed in one of the Lagrangian points, where the Earth and the Moon's gravitational fields effectively cancel each other out. Such an orbit is very stable, so there is no danger of the asteroid dropping out of orbit and hitting a city.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Merc14 on 15 April, 2013, 21:12
Technically the orbit chosen is an Earth orbit as it is likely to be placed in one of the Lagrangian points, where the Earth and the Moon's gravitational fields effectively cancel each other out. Such an orbit is very stable, so there is no danger of the asteroid dropping out of orbit and hitting a city. I didn't realize it was being put at a Lagrangian point. Thanks.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 15 April, 2013, 21:45
Strong Kennedy Role in Exciting Asteroid Mission http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/5863/739979mainarvwasteroidc.jpg Kennedy Space Center will have a leading role in NASA's plans to capture an asteroid and launch astronauts to explore it, the center's director told employees shortly before the agency's 2014 budget proposal was released."It does everything that needs to be done as far as developing the technologies and the skills that we need for exploration beyond planet Earth," said Bob Cabana, director of the Florida center. "Testing out our spacecraft on a real mission instead of a pure tes... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 16 April, 2013, 22:36
NASA Marks Progress on Anniversary of President's Space Exploration Vision http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9139/741782mainbobcabanaspea.jpg On the third anniversary of President Obama's visit to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where he set his space exploration vision for the future, news media representatives were given an opportunity to see up close the Orion spacecraft that could take astronauts on an asteroid sampling mission as early as 2021.Key leaders from across the agency shared progress being made on the spacecraft and infrastructure that will send humans to the asteroid, ... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 16 April, 2013, 22:52
The Long and Storied Path to Human Asteroid Exploration http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/1660/741813mainasteroidretri.jpg Within NASA’s new FY2014 budget proposal lies a project known as the Asteroid Retrieval and Utilization Mission. This project would be the first to capture a small near-Earth asteroid and safely redirect it to a lunar orbit so that astronauts can visit and explore it. Such a mission would expand scientific knowledge of the origins of both humanity and the universe.The goal of asteroid retrieval is not a new endeavor for NASA. In fact, the idea dates to the earliest days o... [More]


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