WASHINGTON (April 5, 2013)--President Barack Obama and NASA plan to use a robotic spaceship to lasso a small asteroid and park it near the moon where astronauts would explore it in 2021, according to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.
Nelson, the chairman of the Senate Science and Space Subcommittee, said Friday that Mr. Obama is putting $100 million for the accelerated asteroid mission in the 2014 budget, which will be released next week.
The money would be used to find the right small asteroid.
Nelson said this would help NASA develop the capability to nudge away a dangerous asteroid heading to Earth in the future.
Nelson knows something about space.
He’s a former astronaut who spent six days orbiting the earth in 1986 aboard the shuttle Columbia.