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NASA is appraising a human mission to a near-Earth asteroid—
gauging the scientific merit of the endeavor while testing out
spacecraft gear, as well as mastering techniques that could
prove useful if a space rock ever took aim for our planet.
Space agency teams are looking into use of Constellation
hardware for a human Near-Earth Object (NEO) mission—an
effort underway at NASA’s Ames Research.
“A human mission to a near Earth asteroid would be scientif-
ically worthwhile,” said Chris McKay, deputy scientist in the
Constellation science office at the NASA Johnson Space Center.
“It could be part of an overall program of understanding these
objects. Also, it would be useful, instrumentally, in terms of
understanding the threat they pose to the Earth.”
“There’s a lot of public resonance with this notion that NASA
ought to be doing something about killer asteroids…to be able
to send serious equipment to an asteroid,” McKay observed.
“The public wants us to have mastered the problem of dealing
with asteroids. So being able to have astronauts go out there and
sort of poke one with a stick would be scientifically valuable as
well as demonstrate human capabilities,” he said.
Originally posted by Jbird
Seems I'm always checking out your posts, since we obviously share an interest in all things Space.
Most of the time I get sidetracked , looking further into the fascinating subjects you find, and forget to come back and leave a message.
So decided to let you know your posts are not in vain. You definately save me some search time, by bringing the latest 'space gems', to my attention.
I've always wondered if a camera on an asteroid would be the next step.
Wasn't sure if the forces on these eccentric space orphans would allow such an experiment, but if they're theorizing on human missions, would not a scientific package (cameras, and other info gathering equipment) be a logical first step?
It would be analogous to the relatively recent practice of glueing cameras on turtles, sea mammals, etc. to glean otherwise unobtainable secrets from the deep blue.
nice find, as usual.
Originally posted by Jbird
Well , if for no other reason to observe the effects of space on an orbiting body.
Could it not help in our understanding of radiation, tectonics, space body decay/rotation, etc.?
And if successful, it could gather non earth views of the solar system , which is basically what we do with man-made probes and satellites.
Originally posted by spacedoubt
I wonder which rock would be a good candidate? Seems like we'd have to visit more than one, to get good comparative science..
Originally posted by MarkLuitzen
editing the traject of the astroid is not a sollution.
You might change it and destroy less developed civilisation
on another planet.
Proposals being put forward to circumvent the threat posed by Apophis and other NEOs include have specially prepared spacecraft ready to launch which would impact the threatening asteroid and deflect it from its collision course. Another suggestion, is to deflect the asteroid's course using the weak gravitational field of a spacecraft hovering nearby.
While thousands of potentially dangerous NEOs have been identified by astronomers, Apophis has been singled out for attention because it is going to have two very close encounters with the Earth within a short space of time. The first on Friday April 13 2029 will see the asteroid pass within an uncomfortable 30,000 kilometers. However, it is the second pass seven years later that have scientists worried. They're not sure whether the first pass will see Earth's gravity drag Apophis into a direct impact trajectory in 2036