NASA Will Select Asteroids To Capture And Bring To The Moon

Geo Beats
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NASA has announced their intentions to capture an asteroid using a giant inflatable bag, and bring it to the moon, so it can be studied up close by astronauts. Scientists have even picked out a few potential asteroids that would suffice for the project, including one that came within 76 hundred miles of Earth during the year 2011.

NASA has announced its intentions to capture an asteroid using a giant inflatable bag, and bring it to the moon, so it can be studied up close by astronauts.

Scientists have even picked out a few potential asteroids that would suffice for the project, including one that came within 76 hundred miles of Earth during the year 2011.

“Traditionally, people thought that the small asteroids like 2011 MD are just single pieces of rock or single boulders floating in space, so our last slideshow shows an artist’s conception of what 2011 MD might look like so on the left hand side there is a structure which we refer to as an rubble pile structure. On the right-hand side there is a different concept which shows the asteroid as a solid piece of rock as a nucleus that is surrounded by a cloud of dust and pebbles.” [Michael Mommert]

According to one NASA executive, there are around ten asteroids that will pass close enough to Earth to be considered for the project between now and 2020.

NASA is also considering bringing more than one asteroid to the moon, or landing on a larger asteroid, and breaking off a piece less than 30 feet large to carry to the moon.

The target doesn’t have to be decided until the mission launches, which might be in the next five years.

Officials at NASA say that the robotic cost of the mission could be around 1 point 2 billion dollars, not including the cost of sending astronauts along, or the rocket necessary to launch.

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