Obama Funds $100 Million Plan To Lasso An Asteroid

Asteroids

Obama has his priorities.  The White House remains closed to the people who own it.  There’s not enough money.  He can’t give White House tours, he can’t keep FAA control towers open, he can’t deploy aircraft carrier battle groups on time, but Obama magically found $100 Million to go asteroid hunting.

The Daily Mail reports,

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 revealed Friday.

The robotic ship would capture the 500-ton 25-foot asteroid in 2019. Then using an Orion space capsule, now being developed, 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.

Nelson, who is chairman of the Senate science and space subcommittee, said on Friday that President Barack Obama is putting $100 million in planning money for the accelerated asteroid mission in the 2014 budget that comes out next week.

The Democratic Senator is also a former astronaut, he spent six days orbiting the earth in 1986 aboard the shuttle Columbia.

The money would be used to find the right small asteroid.

‘It really is a clever concept,’ Nelson said in a press conference in Orlando. ‘Go find your ideal candidate for an asteroid. Go get it robotically and bring it back.

‘While there are thousands of asteroids that size out there, finding the right one that comes by Earth at just the right time to be captured will not be easy, said Donald Yeomans, who heads NASA’s Near Earth Object program that monitors close-by asteroids.

He said once a suitable rock is found it would be captured with the space equivalent of ‘a baggie with a drawstring. You bag it. You attach the solar propulsion module to de-spin it and bring it back to where you want it.’

Hat tip: Gini

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