NASA to bag asteroid; send astronauts to visit

NASA to bag asteroid; send astronauts to visit

Summary: NASA's next big project will be to send robots to tow a nearby asteroid where astronauts will study the space rock.

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TOPICS: Nasa / Space
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  • (Image: NASA)

    Orion capsule

    Here's an Orion capsule being worked on in December 2012.

  • (Image: NASA)

    Space Exploration Vehicle

    The Space Exploration Vehicle is expected to have the ability to land on space rocks such as the moon, Mars, or asteroids. It can be equipped with mining equipment or other supplies.

  • (Image: Deep Space Industries)

    Private companies

    Many think asteroid mining will be a profitable business venture. Private companies have already started planning and obtaining funding for research.

    Deep Space Industries is one company with asteroid-mining ambitions.

Topic: Nasa / Space

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  • From the article: "Moon? Been there, done that."

    Really? We have indeed been there. But, have we "done that"? Why not establish a manned base on the Moon before we humans go traipsing off into the rest of the solar system?

    I'm sure that there's much to learn about establishing and maintaining a permanent base on the surface of a planetary body and there's likely a boatload to learn about the Moon too. Seriously, have we already concluded that there aren't water and mineral sources on the Moon? Plus, it's relatively close should a rescue mission become necessary.

    Moon, first. Mars, second, or perhaps third if we really want to play with asteroids. And place the asteroid into the Moon's orbit and study it there.

    P.S. Also from the article:
    "it has been estimated that a single asteroid could contain more plutoni[u]m than has been mined in the history of Earth."

    Plutonium? We've got more Plutonium now than we know what to do with. Anyway, nobody mines plutonium on Earth. Plutonium gets created either by design or as a byproduct of [hopefully] controlled fission of enriched Uranium.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • I agree with you

      I am so disgusted with this administration. He has mentioned an asteroid before and got poor response. I guess nasa figures if this is the only way we can get money. Oh well.

      If we want fuel for a nuclear reactor you should be going Thorium

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium
      calfee20
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      hgoist309
  • seriously?

    So Nasa has plans to create a 'slingshot for asteroids'?
    I applaud the plans, because I love science ...

    But North-Korea may find these ideas a bit disconcerting. And the US may find it hard to tell other nations not to develop inter-continental weapons whilst playing ping-pong with really big rocks above their heads.
    kleykenb
  • Stupid question

    Why is a U.S. Senator announcing future NASA projects? Isn't that the job of NASA itself?

    It makes perfect sense for Sen. Nelson to be a NASA booster, but that's as far as it should go.
    John L. Ries