We might be going to see NASA doing something totally new by 2014; instead of just visiting or landing on things in space, it might be going to space to grab one of those things – something that is rather huge – and bring it back to Earth. Details will be formally announced on April 10 when the new budget is rolled out.
Aviation Week and Space Technology reported on March 28 that some scientists and engineers at CalTech organized by the Keck Institute for Space Studies in 2011 had proposed a mission where spacecrafts would go into the space, identify small asteroids, grab them and tug them to the vicinity of our planet. Later, no one, not even NASA, talked about that idea and hence the proposal couldn’t come into reality. Recently, NASA has decided to focus on that part again.
NASA has decided to raise $100 million budget for the asteroid capture mission at the 2014 federal budget, which will be released on April 10. Aviation Week and Space Technology has reported that “NASA’s fiscal 2014 budget request will include $100 million for a new mission to find a small asteroid, capture it with a robotic spacecraft and bring it into range of human explorers somewhere in the vicinity of the Moon.”
It has not been confirmed whether the asteroid capture mission will be a manned mission or an unmanned mission. But we expect, we will come to know all details on April 10. For more, head over to Aviation Week and Space Technology report.