Hey guys, wanna party on an asteroid? NASA is apparently working to make that happen for all of us.
Next week President Obama is set to ask Congress to move up plans to send astronauts to an asteroid by 2021, according to Florida Today. How will they land on an asteroid that's way out in space? A robotic spacecraft will lasso the asteroid and then tow it into orbit on the far side of the moon in 2019. Two years later, our courageous spacemen and spacewomen will go check it out.
From the AP:
[Florida Sen. Bill] Nelson, who is chairman of the Senate science and space subcommittee, said Friday that President Barack Obama is putting $100 million in planning money for the accelerated asteroid mission in the 2014 budget that comes out next week. The money would be used to find the right small asteroid.
"It really is a clever concept," Nelson said in a press conference in Orlando. "Go find your ideal candidate for an asteroid. Go get it robotically and bring it back."
Sweet. Why should we go to space when we can bring space to us?
The asteroid will likely be used for scientific research and exploration, although I wouldn't mind seeing a race track get built there, or at the very least some kind of shopping center.
Let's hope this all works out and our new pet asteroid doesn't decide to, you know, crash into the earth. And if it does, hopefully it will just land on a country we don't like.
Photo credit NASA