Thread: Science Science is Cool....
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:17 PM   #470
keg in kc keg in kc is offline
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Saw this yesterday, thought it was neat:
Quote:
Nasa scientists are planning to capture a 500 ton asteroid , relocate it and turn it into a space station for astronauts on their way to Mars.

The White House's Office of Science and technology will consider the 1.6bn plan in the coming weeks as it prepares to set its space exploration agenda for the next decade.

If approved it would be the first time a celestial object has ever been moved by humans.

A feasibility report prepared by Nasa and California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
scientists outlined how they would go about capturing the asteroid.

A, 'asteroid capture capsule' would be attached to an old Atlas V rocket and directed the asteroid between the earth and the moon.

Once close, the asteroid capsule would release a 50ft diameter bag that wrap around the spinning rock using drawstrings.

The craft would then turn on its thrusters, using an estimated 300kg of propellant, to stop the asteroid in its tracks and tow it into a gravitationally neutral spot.

From here space explorers would have a stationary base from which to launch trips deeper into space.

The report said: 'The idea of exploiting the natural resources of asteroids dates back over a hundred years, but only now has the technology become available to make this idea a reality.

The feasibility is enabled by three key developments: the ability to discover and characterize an adequate number of sufficiently small near-Earth asteroids for capture and return; the ability to implement sufficiently powerful solar electric propulsion systems to enable transportation of the captured asteroid; and the proposed human presence in cislunar space in the 2020s enabling exploration and exploitation of the returned asteroid.
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