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NASA's Garver Proposes Carving Piece Off Big Asteroid For Near-Earth Mining 110

Posted by timothy
from the worth-it-at-any-price dept.
MarkWhittington writes "According to a July 26, 2013 story in Space News, NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver mused about what appeared to be a change to the space agency's asteroid snatching mission at the NewSpace 2013 conference. Apparently the idea is to send a robot to a larger asteroid than originally planned, carve out a chunk of it, and then bring it to lunar orbit for an crew of astronauts to visit in an Orion space ship. Garver's proposed change would widen the number of target asteroids and would test technologies important for asteroid mining. But it would also increase the complexity and certainly the cost of the asteroid mission. There are a lot of unanswered questions, such as what kind of mechanism would be involved in taking a piece of an asteroid and moving it? At the same conference Garver had hinted at a willingness to consider mounting a program of "sustainable" lunar exploration, as some in Congress have demanded, concurrent with the asteroid mission."
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NASA's Garver Proposes Carving Piece Off Big Asteroid For Near-Earth Mining

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  • by khallow (566160) on Sunday July 28, 2013 @02:17PM (#44407707)

    What could possibly go wrong moving asteroid chunks into Earth orbit.

    Not much could go wrong aside from the mission just not working. The Earth's atmosphere will stop an errant asteroid chunk of this size. If those chunks get far bigger, then they'll have to worry to some degree about preventing asteroid impacts with Earth.

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