Tags: nasa | mars | moon | asteroid

NASA Seeks Bids for $6M 'Asteroid Capture' Program

Saturday, 22 Mar 2014 11:07 PM

By Todd Beamon

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
NASA said Saturday that it would offer $6 million to public entities or private companies to develop a plan for its program to capture a 500-ton asteroid to put into orbit around the Moon, where it could be used as a step toward a manned space mission to Mars.

The proposals for the "asteroid-capture scheme" must provide specifications in five areas and must seek to keep expenses to a minimum, the publication Science Recorder reports.

The program seeks to capture a suitable space rock and bring it into the Moon’s orbit, allowing astronauts to land on the asteroid for study and analysis, according to Science Recorder.

Editor's Note: Dr. Ben Carson: It's Time to Stand Up - Get His Vision for America

The hope is to use the asteroid as a refueling space station for astronauts making their way to Mars.

President Barack Obama has directed NASA to have a manned mission to the asteroid by 2025 — and to Mars by 2030, Science Recorder reports.

"We’re in this sort of pre-formulation phase studying and gathering input, leading to a mission concept review that we’ll have in early 2015, where we’ll try and focus down to a specific concept and then go develop and implement,” Greg Williams, a NASA deputy associate administrator, said in a news release to Science Recorder.

An asteroid capture scheme would work this way: When the space rock passes between Earth and the moon, it would be captured by an "asteroid capture capsule" — a robotic spacecraft driven by electricity generated by the ship's solar panels.

When the spacecraft approaches the asteroid, the capsule would release a bag engulfing the moving asteroid. The bag then would cinch up with drawstrings, roping in the asteroid.

Then, the spacecraft would deploy its thrusters, towing the asteroid to a gravitationally neutral spot designated by NASA.

Astronauts would then travel to the asteroid, via NASA's Orion spacecraft under development, to collect samples to return to Earth for study.

A report on the project was developed in 2012 by NASA and the California Institute of Technology.

Editor's Note: Dr. Ben Carson: It's Time to Stand Up - Get His Vision for America

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Manatees May Soon Lose Endangered Species Status

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 06:54 AM

As they do whenever they visit Florida, Greg Groff and his young daughter stopped by the manatee pool at Miami Seaquariu . . .

Tesla, Chinese Firm Plan 400 Charging Stations

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 06:53 AM

Tesla Motors Co. and a state-owned Chinese phone carrier announced plans Friday to build 400 charging stations for elect . . .

Google Building Fleet of Package-Delivering Drones

Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 23:16 PM

Google's secretive research laboratory is trying to build a fleet of drones designed to bypass earthbound traffic so pac . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved