Monday, April 8, 2013

NASA Asteroid Landing Mission To Take Place In 2021 After Accelerated Obama Plan, Says Bill Nelson

NASA Asteroid Landing Mission To Take Place In 2021 After Accelerated Obama Plan, Says Bill Nelson

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.