NASA to drag asteroid into moon’s orbit?

Who says NASA has lost interest in the moon?

Along with rumours of a hovering lunar base, there are reports that the agency is considering a proposal to capture an asteroid and drag it into the moon’s orbit.

moon-asteroid

Researchers with the Keck Institute for Space Studies in California have confirmed that NASA is mulling over their plan to build a robotic spacecraft to grab a small asteroid and place it in high lunar orbit. The mission would cost about $2.6 billion – slightly more than NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover – and could be completed by the 2020s.

The Keck team envisions launching a slow-moving spacecraft, propelled by solar-heated ions, on an Atlas V rocket. The craft would then propel itself out to a target asteroid, probably a small space rock about 7 metres wide. After studying it briefly, the robot would catch the asteroid in a bag measuring about 10 metres by 15 metres and head back towards the moon. Altogether it would take about six to 10 years to deliver the asteroid to lunar orbit.

Way to go, NASA. You’re the best!

aa-tribalfang

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2 comments on “NASA to drag asteroid into moon’s orbit?

  1. Interesting! I wonder what effects an asteroid orbiting the moon could have. In other words would it effect the tides? I’ll have to look into this. Thanks for sharing!

    • vampyrefangs says:

      I was thinking exactly the same thing. Depending on the size of the asteroid, it would have some effect. It’s not all that big (7 meters wide), so I’m sure the effect would be negligible. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

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