Monday, January 7, 2013

NASA Eyes Wild Plan to haul Asteroid close to the Moon

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Capturing a near-Earth asteroid and dragging it into path around the moon could aid humanity put boots on Mars sometime, proponents of the design say.

NASA is allowing for a $2.6 billion asteroid-retrieval assignment that could transport a space rock to tall lunar orbit by 2025 or so, New Scientist reported last week. The plan could help jump-start manned examination of deep space, carving out a pathway to the Red Planet and maybe even more far-flung destinations, its developers keep.

"Experience gained via human expeditions to the little returned NEA would move straight to follow-on global expeditions beyond the Earth-moon system: to other near-Earth asteroids, Phobos and Deimos, Mars and potentially sometime to the main asteroid strap," the mission idea team, which is based at the Keck organization for Space Studies in California, wrote in a viability learn of the map last year.

Space organization officials verify that NASA is indeed looking at the Keck suggestion as a way to help extend humanity's footprint out into the solar system. But the appraisal is still in its early stages, with nothing determined yet.

Up-close test of a captured asteroid would also yield insights into the financial value of space rock capital and hut light on the top ways to deflect potentially unsafe asteroids away from Earth.

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