Rock that whizzed by Earth may be grabbed by NASA
by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer
June 19, 2014 03:45 PM | 398 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

WASHINGTON (AP) — NASA is zeroing in on the asteroids it wants to capture, haul near the moon and have astronauts visit.

Officials on Thursday described a prime candidate: A tiny asteroid that whizzed about 7,600 miles above Earth in 2011. The 20-foot-long asteroid might be small enough to fit in a garage.

That asteroid also could be a pile of smaller rocks that fly together in formation.

The plan is to grab an asteroid with a giant claw or capture it with a giant inflatable bag. The asteroid would be parked above the moon, with astronauts exploring in a later mission.

NASA executive Lindley Johnson said there will eventually be about 10 possible rocks for capture in the early 2020s. They have found at least six valid candidates so far.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides