NASA To Capture And Study Asteroid

NASA wants to learn more about how they can protect Earth from things falling from the sky.

Often, we hear of wild animals being studied in captivity in order to understand more about them. Rarely however, do we hear of astronomers "capturing" asteroids for similar reasons. And yet, that is precisely what NASA aims to do in their latest project to protect earth from these hurtling rocks.

"We are developing a first-ever mission to identify, capture and relocate an asteroid," NASA administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. "This mission represents an unprecedented technological feat that will lead to new scientific discoveries and technological capabilities and help protect our home planet."

The proposal to capture the asteroid involves taking one about nine meters wide out of the asteroid belt (which orbits the sun between Mars and Jupiter), then placing it in orbit around the moon, where astronauts can break pieces off to study.

For more on NASA's projects, click here to read about asteroid mining, and how it could replenish earth's resources.

[Image: Flickr user Luke Bryant]

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    That sounds like a great idea, how much does it cost? I’m a
    bit confused is this project tasked with protecting the Earth from space
    monsters or is it a commercial venture to assess the viability of mining
    asteroids? What happens if we mine too much crap from the asteroids and the
    Earth gets really heavy and falls out of orbit – don’t laugh – it can happen! I
    saw it on the internet. What happens when the minors all get Space Pox (not
    sure if that is a real disease) and they come back to Earth and infect the
    population and turn everyone into Zombies? Don’t laugh according to the profit Zombius
    (not sure if this is a real profit) the world will end as a direct result of
    Space Pox turning the human race into zombies who continually mine asteroids to
    the point of increasing the weight of the Earth which causes the planet to
    spiral out of control into the sun.


    How about if NASA instead spends the 4 or 5 billion dollars
    on perfecting the hydrogen fuel cell, or increasing the MPG of automobiles, or
    (insert good idea here). By the way which foreign country are we going to
    borrow the money from to finance this project?