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#1 Crisp

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 17:58

Congress Tells NASA That There Will Be No Asteroid Retrieval Program

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There appears to be little to no support for President Obamas $105 million Asteroid retrieval program in the United States Congress. The mission would allow an asteroid to be robotically captured and relocated to a location near our moon, where astronauts could then explore in relative safety.

A draft of a NASA authorization bill on its way through the House Science, Space and Technology Committee doesn’t include support for the mission.


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A summary of the bill states:

“Continued commitment to develop the Space Launch System and Orion Crew Vehicle to return to the Moon and beyond, but no funding for an asteroid rendezvous mission.”
Many in congress would like NASA to focus its efforts on sending an American astronaut back to the moon where they would establish a base station and/or settlement.
The House Science space subcommittee has scheduled a June 19 hearing on the NASA Authorization Act of 2013.


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#2 Snake89

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 18:04

Congress sure does like to change their minds alot. First they cancel the idea of going back to the moon to keep working on the Orion crew vehicle, and make heavy lift rockets to go deeper into space beyound the moon. An now this, geez congress needs to get it together.

#3 DocM

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 20:17

NASA engineers etc. below the appointee level are quietly cheering - they considered this "mission" a waste of time anyhow. They want to build an architecture capable of far more than ferrying pickup truck sized rocks into lunar orbit - once. Give them a go-ahead on the modular Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV), large habitats like Bigelow's, an Exploration Gateway station at L2 etc. for long beyond Earth orbit missions and they'd be cheering.

#4 Growled

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 03:08

I never understand the interest in this mission other than to retrieve minerals, and that would be cost prohibitive.

#5 nullie

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 03:17

This **** is out of this world, asteroid retrieval is pretty much bigger than any **** having to do with landing on the moon. It's not about the minerals we'd gain, but the difficulty of the mission. Moon landing **** is easy and been done before, no one has ever retrieved an asteroid, and it would be more in line with what our current technological capabilities would allow and in terms of developing new technologies that help us do things in deep space. **** the moon, this was the most exciting idea NASA or anyone had in decades. Think about it - grabbing and slowing down and putting into orbit a giant bus sized object - the remote sensor capabilities needed to find and track something so small, then the idea of getting to something moving 14,000 miles per hour around our solar system, slowing it down, and transporting it back to earth for observation - and possibly discovering more about life and what life and materials exist outside of our planet, and discovering how life could have been delivered to earth from another part of space - this is why this is bigger than anything having to do with moon population.

#6 DocM

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 00:45

Visit a large asteroid that has structural diversity enough to warrent the trip fine, but the proposed retrieval mission would return a rock no bigger than many people have in their front yards - little structural diversity there. A robot visit & return might be worth it, but its not worth manned mission or diversion.

As for the Moon: we landed a SORTIE, not a real exploration mission (weeks or months.) We also landed in a narrow band of latitudes near the lunar equator and on the Earth facing side, and most of the really interesting new discoveries have been closer to or at the lunar poles and on the dark side. In short, we've barely scratched the surface of the Moon.

#7 Growled

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 00:47

Yeah, I've always wished we could go back to the moon. Maybe even establish a base there.



#8 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 00:56

While i always thought of the Asteroid wrangling mission to be a bit stupid i think it is stupid that Congress is cutting more and more from the budget of NASA to the point that NASA has suspended a lot of their Educational Outreach programs. If NASA is not allowed to do Science then there is a problem. However, I do think that perhaps we should go back to the moon just to see if drilling they can find more or whatnot as they did not really do much the last time they went and we have so much more tech this time.



#9 DocM

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 01:02

More than 2x what was cut from the early work on the asteroid mission was diverted to CCiCap - the Commercial Crew program.



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