Click the arrow to watch the video. Video credit: NASA.
UPDATE April 11, 2013 — This is a PDF of the slide show titled “NASA's FY2014 Asteroid Strategy.”
Five days after U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) revealed the program, NASA made it official today — the agency wants to capture an asteroid by the end of the decade and use the Space Launch System to send astronauts to rendezvous with it in 2021.
Click here to visit's NASA's Asteroid Initiative page. Apparently “asteroid initiative” is the name for now for this program.
Also made public for the first time were a conceptual video (above) and images of what such a mission might look like. Here are those images with the NASA captions as posted on Flickr.
Concept of Spacecraft with Asteroid Capture Mechanism Deployed
Concept of Asteroid Capture Spacecraft in a Stowed Configuration
Concept of Asteroid Capture in Progress
Artist's Concept of a Solar Electric Propulsion System
The announcement was part of today's release of the proposed NASA Fiscal Year 2014 budget. The budget proposal and supporting documents can be found on the NASA budget page.
Media reports will be posted below as they become available.
Florida Today “ NASA's Proposed Budget Gets Asteroid Mission Moving”
SpaceFlightNow.com “NASA Unveils 2014 Budget Request, Asteroid Initiative”
The Wall Street Journal “NASA Budget Eyes Asteroid Defenses”