NASA plans to “Lasso” a 500 Ton Asteroid to Bring it Closer to Earth for Study

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In a project starting in 2019 NASA plans to “Lasso” a 500 ton asteroid with a giant robotic spacecraft, in hopes to bring it closer to earth for study.

(Image: TodayIWillFindOut.com)
(Image: TodayIWillFindOut.com)

By JG Vibes
dev-test.intellihub.com
April 6, 2013

The planning process alone for this project will cost $100 million, and that is likely to be gone before the equipment is actually fully purchased and built.  Both the politicians and the scientists are claiming that this is safe, and their excuse for spending so much money is that they are claiming it will help to protect earth from asteroids in the future. 

However, in the past the government really couldn’t be trusted with figuring out whats safe and what isn’t, after all, the governments of the world are doing a pretty good job at destroying the planet as it is.

According to the Associated Press:

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 revealed Friday. The robotic ship would capture the 500-ton 25-foot asteroid in 2019. Then using an Orion space capsule, now being developed, 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.”

While there are thousands of asteroids that size out there, finding the right one that comes by Earth at just the right time to be captured will not be easy, said Donald Yeomans, who heads NASA’s Near Earth Object program that monitors close-by asteroids. He said once a suitable rock is found it would be captured with the space equivalent of “a baggie with a drawstring. You bag it. You attach the solar propulsion module to de-spin it and bring it back to where you want it.”

Yeomans said a 25-foot asteroid is no threat to Earth because it would burn up should it inadvertently enter Earth’s atmosphere. The mission as Nelson described is perfectly safe, he said.

Even if it was a totally safe plan, which i am skeptical of, it still seems frivolous considering what is going on economically right now.

Space travel and exploration is certainly necessary, but NASA is not needed to explore space.  The privately funded space X program recently announced that they were creating a spaceship that looks like something you would see in a science fiction film.

Extreme Tech reported that:

“At a press conference following the successful touchdown of a SpaceX’s Dragon resupply mission to the International Space Station, CEO Elon Musk said that Dragon 2 will look like “a real alien spaceship” and be capable of propulsive touchdowns on land. Musk also said at the briefing that SpaceX will attempt a water landing of its Falcon 9 rocket later this year — another key step towards reusable, cheaper spaceflight.”

Even Red Bull was able to produce a space program that put NASA to shame, so in all reality there is no need for a multi billion dollar government space program.

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J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter-culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, a staff writer, reporter for dev-test.intellihub.com and Executive Producer of the Bob Tuskin Radio Show. You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website www.aotmr.com

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