NASA is about to get $ 100 million for a project in which NASA will build a spaceship which will trap a asteroid and bring it near the orbit of moon for mining and other purposes by 2019. Senator Bill Nelson has said that “This is part of what will be a much broader program. The plan combines the science of mining an asteroid, along with developing ways to deflect one, along with providing a place to develop ways we can go to Mars.”
Project is a jump start towards future by NASA to start exploring the space for minerals and other useful research which would help sustain life in space and then towards occupying other planets. Astronauts would then fly NASA’s Orion capsule and Space Launch Rocket System to the asteroid to begin research and exploration of the near-Earth object in 2021, said Nelson. The Washington Post has reported that there are possibilities that the mission could even start earlier than the given date, approximately around year 2017.
For mining purposes the asteroid of about length 25 feet and weighing 500 tons will be captured by the robotic spaceship and then by the help of solar propulsion.
By TheVerge.com :
After you “bag” the object, you just need to “attach the solar propulsion module to de-spin it and bring it back to where you want it,” which sounds easy enough. In order to do that, the project would need a new, cutting-edge solar engine, said former NASA CTO Robert Braun.
But the $ 100 million seems just like a small token amount to start the project, the Keck Institute Proposal has priced it almost equal to Mars Curiosity Rover Project which is approximately $ 2.6 billion.