Targets Scarce for NASA’s Asteroid-Capture Mission
A notional concept of a solar-electric-powered spacecraft, designed to capture a small near-Earth asteroid and relocate it safely close to the Earth-moon system so astronauts can explore it.
NASA’s audacious plan to grab an asteroid and park it near the moon is short on candidate space rocks at the moment, one researcher says.
It’s possible that not a single known object meets the current criteria of NASA’s asteroid redirect mission(ARM), astrodynamical consultant Dan Adamo said during a presentation with NASA’s Future In-Space Operations working group on Wednesday (June 12).
To pull the mission off in a timelyfashion, Adamo added, it may be necessary to mount a dedicated, space-based asteroid survey in the near future or consider snagging a chunk of a larger asteroid rather than returning an entire (relatively small) space rock. [NASA’s Asteroid-Capture Plan (Video)]
- NASA Introduces Asteroid Grand Challenge to Protect Earth (dailytech.com)