NASA to transform asteroid into space station
For the first time in history of space endeavors, a celestial object would be moved by humans.
NASA scientists are planning to capture a 500,000 kg asteroid, relocate it and turn it into a space station for astronauts to refuel at on their way to Mars.
An allocation $2.6 billion will be considered by the White House’s Office of Science and technology as it prepares to set its space exploration agenda for the next decade.
How this would be achieved?
- An old Atlas V rocket will be used to attach and ‘asteroid capture capsule’.
- It will then be launched towards the asteroid b/w the Earth and the Moon.
- On reaching closer, the asteroid capsule would release a 50 ft diameter bag that would wrap around the spinning rock using drawstrings.
- The craft would then turn on its thrusters to stop the asteroid in its tracks and tow it into a gravitationally neutral spot.
- Now, from here space explorers would have a stationary base from which to launch trips deeper into space in future.
- It would also be possible to mine other asteroids for their metals and minerals.