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Space & Astronomy

Manned mission to an asteroid proposed

By T.K. Randall
October 26, 2009 · Comment icon 15 comments

Image Credit: NASA
A panel of experts appointed by President Obama have proposed that America's manned space programme should bypass the moon and instead send humans to an asteroid as a stepping stone towards Mars.
The next small step for man - and giant leap for mankind - now seems increasingly likely to be bootfall on a lump of rock and metal more than a million miles from Earth.


Source: Telegraph | Comments (15)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by TALM 15 years ago
Or perhaps we are being preconditioned that in the long run we are going to stay off the Moon. Makes sense to me
Comment icon #7 Posted by Sweetpumper 15 years ago
'Cause of the 'dense vegetation'?
Comment icon #8 Posted by TALM 15 years ago
'Cause of the 'dense vegetation'? Thats dense "vegative" type "growth". And no............. I mean, it would be a shame and all if it was killed off but that isnt my prime concern. If I was to state my theory, it would be pointless because it's only a theory. A soundenly perposterous theory at that.
Comment icon #9 Posted by MID 15 years ago
Technically robots are a better way of doing ANYTHING on the Moon and Mars than sending people. I would have to argue that one Torg. While robotic missions are certainly useful, there are certain things we've already seen from Apollo that cannot be done by robotic craft. Land when things go south. Establish a human presence on the Moon. Mine its resources. Have the rational crtical thinking skills to interpret and analyze on the fly. Change your profile quickly. Things like that... A manned mission to a near-earth asteroid would be way faster than a trip to Mars, could use existing hardware fo... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by danielost 15 years ago
as for asteroid mining i would use robots and leave nothing behind. in space a space station is going to need dirt as much as it is going to need metal. and no i am not talking about planet orbiting erecter sets.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Alienated Being 15 years ago
I don't wanna close my eyes, I don't wanna fall asleep 'cause I'll miss you ba -- oh, wait... this isn't Armageddon. Awesome, it will be interesting to see what information they can gather from such a large asteroid in space (probably not much more than what we already know, but it's always worth another shot).
Comment icon #12 Posted by Torgo 15 years ago
I would have to argue that one Torg. While robotic missions are certainly useful, there are certain things we've already seen from Apollo that cannot be done by robotic craft. Land when things go south. Establish a human presence on the Moon. Mine its resources. Have the rational crtical thinking skills to interpret and analyze on the fly. Change your profile quickly. Things like that... Perhaps I should rephrase myself. For any specific scientific objective or set of objectives, it is a lot more cost-effective to use robots. Manned missions can and do do a good deal of science - but the same ... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by MID 15 years ago
Perhaps I should rephrase myself. For any specific scientific objective or set of objectives, it is a lot more cost-effective to use robots. Manned missions can and do do a good deal of science - but the same money put towards unmanned probes can possibly do more, because you don't have to deal with life support and living space and radiation shielding and the multitudes of safety features. For example, for on the order of the cost of two shuttle missions (I think that's the amount) the Cassini probe has been in orbit of Saturn for 5 years, telling us more about its moons and rings than we eve... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by danielost 15 years ago
mid would there be a problem of floating of such a rock ie jump to high.
Comment icon #15 Posted by MID 15 years ago
mid would there be a problem of floating of such a rock ie jump to high. I like the way you think daniel. That's an excellent point, and you're correct. Surface gravity on a common asteroid would be far too low for any functional mobility by a man (as far as I can see). Lets take the dwarf planet Ceres...a big old asteroid, more or less, somewhere around 300 miles in diameter. The surface gravity on Ceres is a mere 0.03g (almost 6 times less gravity than the Moon). In other words, a 165 pound man would weigh only 5 lbs there. Very touchy footing. But look at a smaller, perhaps more accessible ... [More]


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