Nasa completes first internal review of concepts for asteroid redirect mission

Jul 31, 2013

NASA has completed the first step toward a mission to find and capture a near-Earth asteroid, redirect it to a stable lunar orbit and send humans to study it.

In preparation for fiscal year 2014, a mission formulation review on Tuesday brought together NASA leaders from across the country to examine internal studies proposing multiple concepts and alternatives for each phase of the asteroid mission. The review assessed technical and programmatic aspects of the mission.

"At this meeting, we engaged in the critically important work of examining initial concepts to meet the goal of asteroid retrieval and exploration," said NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot, who chaired the review at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "The agency's science, technology and teams are working together to better understand near Earth asteroids, including ones potentially hazardous to our planet; demonstrate new technologies; and to send humans farther from home than ever before. I was extremely proud of the teams and the progress they have made so far. I look forward to integrating the inputs as we develop the mission concept further."

In addition to the internal reviews of concepts for the mission, managers also discussed the recently received more than 400 responses to a request for information in which industry, universities, and the public offered ideas for NASA's asteroid initiative. The agency is evaluating those responses.

With the mission formulation review complete, agency officials now will begin integrating the most highly-rated concepts into an asteroid mission baseline concept to further develop in 2014.

The asteroid redirect mission is included in President Obama's fiscal year 2014 for NASA, and leverages the agency's progress on its Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft and cutting-edge technology development. The mission is one step in NASA's strategy to send humans to Mars in the 2030s.

For more information about NASA's asteroid initiative, visit: http://www..gov/asteroidinitiative

Explore further: Video gives astronaut's-eye view inside NASA's Orion spacecraft

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User comments : 2

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Matthewwa25
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 31, 2013
I pray nasa can do this. ;) Freaking house.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Aug 02, 2013
Some people don't like this mission, but I think it is a good chance to demonstrate and gain experience with componenets they are already working on, in preparation for bigger missions later on.

As it says in the article, it is a chance to test out some of the things they are working on, prior to flinging people all the way to Mars or some other place.

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