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NASA considering human mission to asteroid (CNN/

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:06 PM
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NASA considering human mission to asteroid (CNN/
By Leonard David

(SPACE.comexternal link) -- Progress is being made on defining a human mission to an asteroid. Experts at several NASA centers are sketching out a prospective piloted stopover at an asteroid -- a trek that could return samples from a targeted space rock as well as honing astronaut proficiency and test needed equipment for other space destinations.

At the heart of such a mission is drawing upon the technology of NASA's Constellation initiative -- the overarching program that is gearing up to extend human presence at the moon, on Mars and beyond.

One key ingredient is the Orion spacecraft -- a post-space shuttle vehicle now under design to thrust crews further than low Earth orbit.

Meanwhile, NASA is wrapping up a report required by the U.S. Congress on how best to search for, catalog and even deal with the hazard of Earth-bruising rocks from space. That space agency report is to be turned over to Congress by year's end.

If lawmakers give the green light to a next generation Near Earth Object (NEO) search program, there could be 40 times the current discovery rate of these celestial bodies. By the time a human mission to an asteroid is ready, there's likely to be a healthy list of suitable targets.
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Rick Myers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:10 PM
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1. That is TOO cool! Thanks for the link!!!
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