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NASA mulls plan to drag asteroid into lunar orbit

RATE THIS! +8
Posted in Science on 5th Jan, 2013 01:16 AM by AlexMuller

NASA is mulling over a plan to build a robotic spacecraft to grab a small asteroid and place it in high lunar orbit, according to researchers with the Keck Institute for Space Studies in California.

 

The mission would cost about $2.6 billion and could be completed by the 2020s, New Scientist reports.

 

The Obama administration has said it also wants to send astronauts to a near-Earth asteroid. One proposed target, chosen because of its scientific value and favourable launch windows for a rendezvous, is a space rock called 1999 AO10.

 

The mission would take about half a year, exposing astronauts to long-term radiation beyond Earth’s protective magnetic field and taking them beyond the reach of any possible rescue.



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