NASA Releases Animation of Asteroid Capture Mission
Posted on April 11, 2013
NASA released this animation that shows what its mission to capture an asteroid and redirect it to a stable orbit in the Earth-moon system would look like. The Obama administration recently announced plans to budget $100 million for the operation. The mission would bag a 500 ton, 7-to-10 meter wide asteroid and bring it closer to the Earth so astronauts could study it and return samples to the Earth. Take a look:
William H. Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations for NASA, said in a statement, "he mission to find, capture and redirect an asteroid robotically, and then visit it with astronauts to study it and return samples takes advantage of expertise across all of NASA in an integrated approach to exploration. Along with the scientific research and technology demonstrations happening around the clock on the International Space Station that are teaching us how humans can live and work in space, this mission will give us valuable experience we need in deep space operations to send humans to more distant destinations in the solar system, including Mars. Through the balance of this fiscal year, we will work to define an affordable mission architecture. In Fiscal Year 2014, NASA will begin developing and testing prototype capture mechanisms and concepts for crew interactions with the asteroid."