Skip to comments.NASA Plans to "Lasso" Asteroid And Turn It Into Space Station
Posted on 12/24/2012 10:33:11 AM PST by shove_it
SternisheFan writes "NASA scientists are planning to capture a 500 ton asteroid, relocate it and turn it into a space station for astronauts to refuel on their way to Mars. From the article: 'The 1.6bn-pound plan will be considered by the White House's Office of Science and technology in the coming weeks, as it prepares to set its space exploration agenda for the next decade, the Daily Mail reported.
According to a report prepared by NASA and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) scientists, a, 'asteroid capture capsule' would be attached to an old Atlas V rocket and directed towards the asteroid between the earth and the moon. Once close, the asteroid capsule would release a 50ft diameter bag that wrap around the spinning rock using drawstrings. The craft would then turn on its thrusters, using an estimated 300kg of propellant, to stop the asteroid in its tracks and tow it into a gravitationally neutral spot. From here space explorers would have a stationary base from which to launch trips deeper into space.
Though NASA declined to comment on the project, it is believed that technology would make it possible within 10-12 years. The technology would also open up the possibility of mining other asteroids for their metals and minerals. Some are full of iron which could be used for in the making of new space stations, others are made up of water which could be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen to make fuel. t is hoped that the project will increase our understanding of asteroids, and even shed new light on the origin of life on Earth.'"
Is this another of Boone Pickens’ Plans?
I don’t know, but the coolness factor is off the charts.
The only AtlasVs are static displays in Florida and Texas, and we don’t even have the technical plans for them anymore. Couldn’t build more even if we wanted too.....
The folks at NASA must be on drugs
That or a Wile E. Coyote plan.
The Arabs have taken over NASA long since and are arranging for an extra moon for all the moonbats.
I think the brains behind this one is the guy that decided to rocket to the sun at night to avoid the heat.
And why again do we need to refuel on the way to mars?
Not a bad idea but I doubt NASA is into things like that, unless it outreaches to muslims
that’s progress for you.
We won’t. But sending the return ship and fuel/supplies for the trip back wouldn’t be a bad idea.
What could POSSIBLY go wrong.
What could go wrong?
No, it’s a new Ed Wood production. And here I thought he was dead.
That said, the capture and redirect idea could have value as part of an asteroid defense scheme. I just hope they get the math right this time and not, oh, say, reverse the sign and propel the damned thing into the Pacific.
We don’t have a manned space program.
So are the Russians going to do this for us?
Don't know, but a 500 ton rock is not very big and why would a small asteroid be better than simply placing something in the planned orbit, assuming that it was even necessary.
That is what scientific work is today,plans to do cool stuff that though feasible would never get approved.NASA went from a beacon of hope to an agency that deals in “planning” instead of seeing anything through.
Time to put this agency out of its misery.
Posted previously in 2010:
Towards the end of my aerospace career I proposed two key technologies that would allow a Mars mission:
1. Suspended Animation by using a combination of drugs, e.g., anesthesia meds, and lowered body temp.
My scheme for lowering body temp is to surgically implant a heating coil in the blood supply to the hypothalamus. By heating the blood there, you convince the body that it is overheating.
We only need to lower the temp to the low 90s in order to have the astronaut sleep for 2-3 weeks at a time. For a crew of six, you keep 2 awake to run the ship while 4 sleep. Your logistics (oxygen, food, water, waste) are reduced by about 60%.
2. A chemical processor about the size of a desk that uses CO2 and water to synthesize sugar, alcohol, and then carbohyddrate to bake bread with some additives such as fiber. You can easily fulfill over 50% of calorie requirements with such a synthesizer.
Oh yeah, it would provide the grog ration daily.
I also proposed that we search for a small Apollo asteroid near the plane of the Earth-Mars orbit with aphelion near Mars and perihelion near Earth.
Over a period of time we could use a mass driver, a la Gerard ONeill, and put the asteroid into a Mars/Earth cycling orbit.
I must give credit to Buzz Aldrins ground breaking work on cycling spaceships here.
My proposal was to establish a long term space station near the asteroid to house astronauts going to/from Mars.
We would have plenty of soil for agriculture and a fully self-sustaining environment as well as all the radiation shielding we could ever want.
In addition, the astronauts could do some original science on the nearby celestial body.
As the cycling station + asteroid approach Mars or Earth, the astronauts use an Apollo style capsule to reenter the atmosphere. The station continues its cyclic orbit with a new crew.
Without high speed transit, the show stoppers for a Mars mission are logistics (food, etc.) and the total radiation dose of a 3 year trip. Without shielding, the astronauts will not survive 3 years of radiation for long.
Once again, though I did a FR search, it failed to turn up your posting, dang it! One suggestion re your proposal, please correct your spelling of hippopotamus.
Nice touch with the grog ration.
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