Last week, Charles Bolden, top administrator of NASA announced that the space agency plans to send a robotic spaceship to lasso a small asteroid and bring it closer to the moon for astronauts to explore. According to him the asteroid lasso mission would halt any apocalypse scenario in future.
In February, a large meteor hit Russia and injured around 1,000 people. Conspiracy theorists called the meteor explosion a U.S. military test. After that event, U.S. President Barack Obama‘s administration announced that the States would work on asteroid tracking technology to avoid potentially more severe Earth collisions. Last week, NASA’s top senate Charles Bolden announced that NASA plans to send a robotic spaceship in 2020 to capture a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) and bring it into orbit around the moon. After that astronauts would go to the asteroid, collect its sample by mining, bring the samples back to Earth, and conduct further research.
According to Charles Bolden, asteroid lasso mission might “prevent an asteroid from colliding with devastating force into our planet.”
John Grunsfeld, NASA’s science mission directorate associate administrator said, “We have a pretty good theory that single-planet species don’t survive. We don’t want to test it, but we have some evidence of that happening 65 million years ago (when an asteroid killed much of Earth’s life). That will happen again someday … we want to have the capability (to leave the planet) in case of the threat of large-scale destruction on Earth.”
Although, NASA submitted $100 million budget to start Asteroid capture mission, the U.S. government sanctioned $78 million dollars for the fiscal year 2014. The Obama administration hopes to put astronauts on a near-Earth asteroid by 2025. It is being assumed that NASA will use its Orion spacecraft for this mission.