According to Politico, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., has revealed that NASA is planning to have a robotic spaceship catch a small asteroid and park it near the moon so that astronauts could explore it.
"It really is a clever concept," Nelson said in a press conference in Orlando. "Go find your ideal candidate for an asteroid. Go get it robotically and bring it back."
While there are thousands of asteroids that size out there, finding the right one that comes by Earth at just the right time to be captured will not be easy, said Donald Yeomans, who heads NASA's Near Earth Object program that monitors close-by asteroids. He said once a suitable rock is found it would be captured with the space equivalent of "a baggie with a drawstring. You bag it. You attach the solar propulsion module to de-spin it and bring it back to where you want it."
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