Anything space-related mission is naturally outrageous for most people. This NASA mission is more than just that. Move over Han Solo!
NASA bares a mission of many purposes which starts with stealing a prized possession from an asteroid as it cruises along in space and give it to our own Moon.
[caption id="attachment_68022" align="aligncenter" width="600"]
Credit Day Donaldson / Flicker[/caption]
Now that will leave you wondering how on Earth are they going to do that?
This mission NASA named ARM which stands for Asteroid Redirect Mission is pretty straightforward.
Just imagine doing a Somali pirate on that flying asteroid. Hijack the asteroid using a robot. Get the robot to analyze the surface. Get the robot to pull out a gargantuan rock from its surface then scoot away!
If you will ask, how that will change things when the asteroid itself is still left floating?
Here comes the gravity tractor theory. The fact that the robot plus the boulder hovers at the surface without actually touching the asteroid, their presence can throw the asteroid off course and out of its orbit. The robot will then throw the large boulder into orbit around the moon.
This ARM mission prepares us for a statistically inevitable asteroid collision on earth. We can start our experience in putting flying objects like asteroids away from our planet by practicing somewhere from the area we are protecting - away from Earth.
Asteroids can also be used as a drop-off points for some objects that astronauts can pick up along the way for an even bigger mission.
That unlucky asteroid that NASA plans to hijack might still be floating between Earth and Venus. It's the 2008 EV5 asteroid.
According to Jim Green, director of NASA Planetary Science, "Asteroids are a hot topic not just because they could pose a threat to Earth, but also for their scientific value and NASA's planned mission to one as a stepping stone to Mars."
It sounds like an intergalactic love story to me.
"I'll give you the moon."
"To the moon and back."