Wednesday, April 10, 2013

To Catch an Asteroid

Click the arrow to watch the video. Video credit: NASA.

UPDATE April 11, 2013This 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.

CBS News “WH Seeks Funds for NASA to Start Work on Asteroid Capture”

CNN “NASA Shoots for Asteroid, New Manned Missions”

Florida Today “ NASA's Proposed Budget Gets Asteroid Mission Moving”

Fox News “Why Americans Must Support NASA's Plan to Capture an Asteroid”

The Guardian “NASA Aims to Capture and Study Asteroid in Effort to Protect Earth”

NBC News “NASA Touts Plan to Grab Asteroid as 'Unprecedented Technological Feat'” “Obama Seeks $17.7 Billion for NASA to Lasso Asteroid, Explore Space” “Inside NASA's Plan to Catch an Asteroid (Bruce Willis Not Required)” “NASA Unveils 2014 Budget Request, Asteroid Initiative”

USA Today “NASA Releases Asteroid Capture Mission Details”

The Wall Street Journal “NASA Budget Eyes Asteroid Defenses”

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