NASA plans to send people to Mars, toss asteroid at moon in future
NASA has some projects in the works when it comes to space exploration, including grabbing an asteroid and throwing it at the moon, sending people to Mars and laying the groundwork for permanent human settlements in the solar system.
William Gerstenmaier, an associate administrator at NASA, said during testimony before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space that their architecture is designed for long-term human exploration of the solar system, including the goal of human missions to Mars, the Huffington Post reported.
The hearing, called "From Here to Mars," focused on intermediate space missions being planned as steps toward long-duration space travel. One possible mission is to a near-Earth asteroid, Gerstenmaier said.
Not only is NASA working on sending a manned spacecraft to the asteroid, but then, through the use of robotic technology, scientists are also looking at ways to knock the asteroid -- or possibly a boulder from the asteroid -- into an orbit around the moon to collect samples from it.
Gerstenmaier was clearly excited about that project. He said that while it may not be as flashy as a manned expedition to Mars, it's the kind of mission that gets kids and the public reinvigorated about space exploration and NASA's projects.
(Posted on 10-04-2014)