New NASA concept video shows astronauts working at asteroid

Although its funding may be on the chopping block, NASA is continuing to champion an asteroid-return mission.  Sometime in the next decade or so, they propose sending an unmanned spacecraft to find and corral a nearby (small!) asteroid.   This ship would then position the captured asteroid in an orbit around the Moon.  Once in lunar orbit, astronauts could study it at will.  In a new video (see below), NASA outlines just how such a mission might be carried out.

With a mission lasting about a month, the astronauts would spend up to six days studying and collecting samples from the space rock.  During that time they'd live in a docked Orion capsule.  Orion, NASA's next-generation space transport, would be launched by the still-in-development Space Launch System.  Unsurprisingly, NASA optimistically includes all their future technology in this demonstration, but many of these components still seem years from being ready.  The good news is, if we can pull in the asteroid, it will wait patiently in lunar orbit for our technology to catch up!

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