NASA to lasso asteroid, bring it closer

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posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 04:17 PM
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WASHINGTON (AP) — NASA is planning for a robotic spaceship to lasso a small asteroid and park it near the moon for astronauts to explore, a top senator said Friday.

The ship would capture the 500-ton, 25-foot asteroid in 2019. Then using an Orion space capsule, a crew of about four astronauts would nuzzle up next to the rock in 2021 for spacewalking exploration, according to a government document obtained by The Associated Press.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said the plan would speed up by four years the existing mission to land astronauts on an asteroid by bringing the space rock closer to Earth.

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."

This would be the first time ever humanity has manipulated a space object in such a grand scale, like what it does on Earth, said Robert Braun, a Georgia Institute of Technology aerospace engineering professor who used to be NASA's chief technology officer.


Source

The potential here is vast not only in relation to exploration, this could be the first baby steps toward securing mineral resources from our solar system.

PDF File

Any thoughts?




posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 04:27 PM
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My thoughts?

Well I'm not a scientist or anything but... How about mining the moon for helium-3 first which is a certainty instead of going after space rocks without knowing what they have?

Or did they find out about abiogenic oil in asteroids?



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 04:31 PM
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reply to post by Kashai
 

My initial thought is that this could possibly be placed into a category similar to:
"If it aint broke, don't fix it!"


On the other hand:
I didn't click the links, so I'm not sure if this was mentioned, but it might not hurt to have a trial run at it as a sort of practice for that larger one in the future which may be headed on a collision course directly towards Earth.





 
 
Also, I think I've seen this movie before. I'm pretty sure that the eventual conclusion is a World Population about 10% of what it is now; all major cities reduced to smoking piles of rubble; and dead aliens scattered about all over the place.



edit on 4/7/13 by BrokenCircles because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 04:37 PM
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A necessary first step. I can think of about 10 useful things off hand that might come from this. For example: The first country to successfully tether a larger asteroid ins't going to have to worry about other countries and their nuclear weapons....



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 04:47 PM
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Let's just hope this latest chapter in asteroid mining becomes a sustainable success story and not the prequel for Arthur C Clarke's The Hammer of God. Worst case scenario is that we bring this asteroid closer to Earth, and its orbit changes in such a manner as to steer it into a collision path with Earth. Best case scenario, we innovate new technology, create new jobs, and have a new energy source that could double as a landfill.
edit on 7-4-2013 by MysteriousHusky because: addition



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by MysteriousHusky
Let's just hope this latest chapter in asteroid mining becomes a sustainable success story and not the prequel for Arthur C Clarke's The Hammer of God. Worst case scenario is that we bring this asteroid closer to Earth, and its orbit changes in such a manner as to steer it into a collision path with Earth. Best case scenario, we innovate new technology, create new jobs, and have a new energy source that could double as a landfill.
edit on 7-4-2013 by MysteriousHusky because: addition


The op has provided a pdf regarding this "mission"... I wonder why he did that.

Lets see...

Oh yes! For people that bother to read


Here, page 15.



Safety

The first question that must be answered in the consideration of feasibility is, “could the mission be conducted safely?” In fact, moving a non-hazardous asteroid toward the Earth must not just be safe, but it must be completely perceived as safe to an interested, and likely concerned, public. Safety would have to be guaranteed by the mission design. This subject was addressed in our workshops and resulted in the following “belt & suspenders” approach to safety.

First, the size and mass of the asteroid to be returned would be like many other meteorites which routinely impact the Earth and burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere. Moving an asteroid of sufficiently small size would not add to the danger from small meteorites, which are small pieces of asteroids that approach Earth.

Second, we are selecting a carbonaceous asteroid. Asteroids of this type and size are known to be too weak to survive entry through the Earth’s atmosphere, so then even if it did approach the Earth it would break up and volatilize in the atmosphere.

Thirdly the trajectory design for moving the asteroid toward the Earth would keep it on an nonimpact trajectory at all times. Therefore, if the flight system fails the resulting orbit would be no more dangerous than that of thousands of natural and man-made objects in near-Earth space.

Fourth, the destination orbit would be a high lunar orbit so that even at the end of mission the natural perturbations of the trajectory would cause an eventual impact on the Moon, not on Earth. This can be insured by the laws of celestial mechanics and selection of orbit. Although multiple levels of redundancy would be employed to maintain control of the asteroid, in the event of a failure in which control is lost the asteroid would also impact the Moon.



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by FraternitasSaturni
 





Safety would have to be guaranteed by the mission design.


Firstly, you cannot guarantee safety in the design alone. A lot of things work in the mission design but in reality may not be able to repeat the same outcome.

Secondly, once you even make an attempt, and not a theoretical attempt but a practical one, to lasso an asteroid and bring it closer to Earth, there is no going back.



would cause an eventual impact on the Moon, not on Earth.


Thanks for highlighting the Safety aspect of the .pdf, I especially like how the backup plan is to have it collide with the Moon instead! Okay... then what! Thankfully the size of the asteroid targeted will not be massive but rather "like many other meteorites which routinely impact the Earth and burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere." Thanks again for highlighting the research design to be followed.



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by FraternitasSaturni
 


Asteroids are essentially made of the same stuff as Earth is made of. To be apparent imagine an asteroid about the size of the State of Connecticut, where 30% of it is gold, or another the size of Germany made complete of Iron and so on. The thing about helium-3 is that it is probably the best molecule to work with, in relation to generating fusion power.



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:07 PM
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So, let me get this straight. We have the money, or will, to get an astroid just to check it out in a lunar orbit. Why are they doing this? Wouldn't it make more sense to just return to the moon and conduct mining research on it? Drag a small rock to us and ignore the large rock within "arms reach." What a waste.



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:08 PM
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reply to post by Kashai
 



What an absolutely fantastic way to spend tax dollars. Perhaps they can use some of that asteroid to fill the pot holes in my street!



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:10 PM
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reply to post by MysteriousHusky
 


yea well... Im no expert but Im assuming no one would risk an ELE by dragging space-texas into lunar orbit...


< awkward silence >

I hope...



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:11 PM
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the public would clearly see the results from human exploration once astronauts begin the lengthy, challenging task of examining and “dissecting” a ~ 500 metric ton asteroid. This ongoing robotic and astronaut operation would provide a steady stream of “real-time exploration” results to a public attracted to the scientific unknowns and the economic potential of this captured asteroid. Eventually, commercial consortia should be given access to the object to test resource processing methods and compete for resource production rights on this and other objects.


Source: kiss.caltech.edu... Page 10

The "commercial consortia" aspect would be a good way to recuperate funds but the more people that are involved, the more difficult oversight becomes. Suffice to say, it is better to try and fail then fail to try.



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by FraternitasSaturni
reply to post by MysteriousHusky
 


yea well... Im no expert but Im assuming no one would risk an ELE by dragging space-texas into lunar orbit...


< awkward silence >

I hope...


That has to be the plot for some movie, if not I strongly suggest you start writing the script.



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:20 PM
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Originally posted by MysteriousHusky

Originally posted by FraternitasSaturni
reply to post by MysteriousHusky
 


yea well... Im no expert but Im assuming no one would risk an ELE by dragging space-texas into lunar orbit...


< awkward silence >

I hope...


That has to be the plot for some movie, if not I strongly suggest you start writing the script.


Why do I get this feeling that next you're going to ask me 50% of all revenue including merchandising?



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:41 PM
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Originally posted by FraternitasSaturni
The op has provided a pdf regarding this "mission"..



To be more accurate, the pdf file refers to the Keck Institute plan that was already discussed here in threads last year and earlier this year.
Todays news appears to be about a plan that NASA has put together themselves.



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by alfa1
 


I knew it! Besides, there would be little chance that NASA would release their actual mission design so soon following the press release. They have to safeguard, if not patent, their approach. Additionally using private companies like Space X could cut the government's cost if they start a bidding war for the vehicle(s) that gets to be used.



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:53 PM
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And spending huge resources on this solves the problem of feeding hungry people does it?

Stop looking up and sort out this ball of dirt first.



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:55 PM
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Originally posted by 0zzymand0s
A necessary first step. I can think of about 10 useful things off hand that might come from this. For example: The first country to successfully tether a larger asteroid ins't going to have to worry about other countries and their nuclear weapons....


I once saw a documentary about future technology where they described the scenario of using asteroids as weapons, resulting in nuclear disarmament as due to this technology the bombs become obsolete.

**************************************

Guys look the main reason there are no jobs is because there are no resource's and over the next 300 years it is just going to get worst. We need a new source for such materials and in reality we really have only one other place to go.



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 06:00 PM
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reply to post by Kashai
 


I couldn't find the documentary you were referring to but I found this video released April 6 explaining the NASA effort.




posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 07:11 PM
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Published on Jan 23, 2013

Planetary Resources President/Chief Engineer (and former NASA scientist) Chris Lewicki presents his talk entitled, "Asteroid Mining: The Compelling Opportunity and What It Means For Mining On Earth, Today." Presented January 2013 at Cambridge House International's Vancouver Resource Investment Conference.






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