05 September 2010

More on NASA's Asteroid Mission

From: http://news.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978484620

The planned manned asteroid mission is heavily viewed as a “Plymouth Rock” opportunity to set foot on Mars or another celestial body beyond our moon. NASA believes it will be a chance to gain a wealth of intelligence and data about the possibility of going even deeper into space.
Others view it as a mission for planetary defense as we contend with the possibility of a “killer asteroid” impacting our earth at some point in the future. With so many cosmic bodies floating around in space, the possibility of a close encounter is always factored into any equation of planetary defense.
A manned asteroid mission is tentative at best, and could launch by 2025. This “dress-rehearsal” would be a lead-in to the so called “Plymouth Rock” plans to step foot on Mars by the mid to late 2030’s.
The workshop's primary goals Were "to Increase the collective understanding of NEOs, communiquer NASA's plans for a human mission to a NEO in the 2024-2026 timeframe, and Receive community input on mission objective," Said Douglas Cooke, NASA's associate administrator for Exploration Systems .
Determining What technologies and Other Information Will Be Even Before Attempting year required asteroid-bound mission with astronauts, gold setting planetary defense plans in case of potential impacts is Vital

ALSO: videos of the conference and Q&A discussion on Planetary Defense can be found here:

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