Remember last year NASA arranged an open contest for students to name an asteroid that may hit Earth in future? Later NASA decided to start asteroid capture mission and announced how the agency will do that. And now after coming long path, NASA is seeking help from people to hunt asteroids.
NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (formerly the Asteroid Retrieval Mission), or ARM would send astronauts to visit an asteroid that had been redirected into a high lunar orbit. But first a robotic spacecraft would have to rendezvous with the asteroid and capture it. And even before that, scientists would have to find the right asteroid.
At present, NASA has a short list of possible targets, but all need further scrutiny to see if they have the size, shape, spin rate and composition that the asteroid mission would require. However, last Tuesday, the White House and NASA asked the public for help finding asteroids that potentially could slam into the Earth with catastrophic consequences. NASA announced that the search for killer rocks in space is one of the “Grand Challenges.”
NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said, “This is really a call to action to find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them.” She also said that the asteroid hunt would help prove that “we’re smarter than the dinosaurs.”
Source: Washington Post