New telescope technology is helping scientists better detect asteroids, but what happens after we find them?
One of NASA's goals has been to latch astronauts onto space rocks and take samples for studying, and the agency has just released a rough video-sketch of a plan for how they'd do it. Using the Orion spacecraft, a team could launch from Earth, pick up speed by whipping around the moon, and attach to an asteroid in about nine days. After that, they could dig inside, take a sample, and launch back, once again making a pitstop in the moon's orbit for speed.
The plan is subject to change, and could end up being a lot different from what you see in the video here, but it's cool to think about. Although it doesn't quite solve that one issue with asteroids.
Well.. why not just rig the capture vehicle so the orion crew can place the asteroid inside, isolate to avoid contamiantion and set it on a return path to earth orbit - and then perhaps with 2nd mission ot bring the whole asteriod back down - or get samples on orbit.
NASA should be focused on being a profitable agency. You can buy an awful lot of rockets from a solid precious metal asteroid.Having the asteroid wrapped in a giant plastic tarp is a great idea, i wonder if they can shrink wrap in space? There's no air to suck out, so it probably isn't easy. Still they are getting closer to orbital bombardment of mars with water bearing asteroids. That's my best bet for asteroid mining, leave the byproducts for terraforming and scoop up the pieces after impact. With the precision they have, and given 10,000 shrink wrapped asteroids, they could concievably drop them all on the same spot and have a giant pile of metal to 3d print with. Say a city, or a dome?
I think they should fill the robot capture vehicle with bits of the asteroid and send it back to earth.
Good luck. Will anyody, or anything, in the universe miss humans? Don't think so.