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NASA plans to harpoon an asteroid by 2025. Vid included.

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posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 10:21 PM
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www.popularmechanics.com...

This afternoon, NASA scientists announced the findings of their NEOWISE Space Infrared Survey of near-Earth asteroids. The good news: They found 40 percent fewer medium-sized ones than were previously believed to exist, meaning that perhaps there aren't as many potentially dangerous rocks passing near the planet as scientists once believed. The bad news: Even so, tens of thousands are left to be discovered.

While NASA can now keep tabs on (most of) these asteroids, its next big objective is to visit one. “[Sending a manned mission to an asteroid] is a natural stepping stone of our exploration into the solar system,” says Lindley Johnson, executive of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program.

NASA plans to send astronauts to an unspecified asteroid by 2025—but how the spacecraft carrying them will land is still an open question; an asteroid's gravity is too weak to hold a lander. Instead, astronauts will have to grapple the asteroid to secure their ship to its surface. Inspired by fishermen, hikers and mountaineers, researchers at MIT are investigating techniques for shooting projectiles into the rock to stabilize spacecraft with cables. A capsule could travel down the tether on mechanized rollers or fly around the entire asteroid to wrap it with cable, providing astronauts with downward pressure that would serve as artificial gravity.








Now, why by 2025? Might they be trying to prepare to harpoon Apophis before its close call in 2029? This definitely sounds like NASA knows more than they're telling us.
edit on 9/29/2011 by ChiliDog because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 10:24 PM
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Are they trying to beat the chinese to it?

Weren't they planning on pulling an astroid into our orbit by like 2049 or something?



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 10:43 PM
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I thought they can travel to stars as what former lockheed martin CEO Ben rich said before he died. So NASA will not going to have any problem



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by ChiliDog


Now, why by 2025? Might they be trying to prepare to harpoon Apophis before its close call in 2029? This definitely sounds like NASA knows more than they're telling us.


Considering the extreme risks involved in just undertaking this endeavor, I would not expect them to just joy ride to the closest rock and get some practice in. Strategically, it only makes sense to go for one that might actually be a danger to the planet, the risks do not change in that aspect, either way it has never been done.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 11:14 PM
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omg i hope they send Bruce Willis.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 11:24 PM
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A few things that stick out to me:

"unspecified asteroid". What, you're just going to pick one on launch day? Or do you mean Apophis and just dont want to specify it for fear of causing panic.

You dont even have a plan for getting them down there, but you're gung ho about doing this. There's some serious motivation there. Something's up.



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 11:12 PM
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I should have titled it "plans to LAND ON asteroid".

I'm surprised to see so little reaction to this - it's the first thing in a while that has really convinced me that NASA/TBTB think something big is coming.



posted on Oct, 1 2011 @ 07:03 AM
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As for 'unspecified asteroid', it's unspecified until a production schedule is determined, so calculations can find a significantly large enough asteroid that would be in an orbit that is feasibly reachable. I also don't understand suspicions of hiding anything, it's not like they would be equipped to mine and transfer any appreciable amount of some hypothetically exotic minerals, it's not like they could change the orbit of such a body if it was determined to become a NEO or impact threatening, and it's mot like there is a starship, star base, or life there.

To me it would be a pure science discovery mission, like every other NASA space probe sent out at great costs for zero financial gain, only science measurements and visual archival data. To suspect anything else is, well, fantasy.



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