NASA plans to land astronauts on an asteroid by 2020s
NASA is planning to land astronauts on an asteroid in the 2020s.
And this has made astronauts simulate an asteroid landing in a 40-foot-deep swimming pool at a Space Center in Houston, the CNN reported.
Stan Love, one of the astronauts participating in the test said that they're working on the techniques and tools they might use someday to explore a small asteroid that was captured from an orbit around the sun and brought back by a robotic spacecraft to orbit around the moon.
"When it's there, we can send people there to take samples and take a look at it up close," he said.
"That's our main task; we're looking at tools we'd use for that, how we'd take those samples," he added.
Love and his colleague Steve Bowen, who between them have clocked up more than 62 hours on real spacewalks, took a dip in the swimming pool at NASA's Johnson Space Center last week to practice climbing out of a mockup of the Orion spacecraft onto a fake asteroid.
Being underwater creates the lack of gravity that allows astronauts to practice walking in space.
The two men were working with engineers to try out tools that might be used, like a pneumatic hammer, as well as the type of spacesuit that might be worn on the asteroid.
(Posted on 14-05-2014)