Assistant Director of NASA Robert Lightfoot reported
, that in 2025 the agency plans to land astronauts on fragment of an asteroid in 2020 drag over to the orbit of the Moon. The operation will be the stage of preparation for travel to Mars: it will test new spacesuits, equipment and test manned spacecraft "Orion" on humans.
Manned spacecraft 'Orion' made its first flight
in late 2014. He flew with the mass-dimensional layout of the service module, which was not the engines, fuel and solar cells. The Agency will check the machine with working modules, then you can start sending people into space. NASA plans to use the "Orion" for missions to Mars, but first it is necessary to check at shorter distances - including for the flight to the moon.
Last year, NASA were two
plan for the delivery of a cosmic body to orbit the moon for the subsequent landing astronauts on him. In the first case, the whole asteroid with a diameter of 10 meters had to be delivered using the device in the form of a bag, and the second - the robotic arm had to take a boulder or a piece of an asteroid. Agency stopped at the second method. Selected expensive than the first option on the $ 100 million, but Lightfoot confident in its benefits. The operation will cost NASA $ 1, 25 billion.
To use the automatic delivery of the aircraft with the engine on solar batteries. Operation Asteroid Redirect
scheduled for December 2020. The link - animation NASA, which shows the plan of operation.
The aim is to found in 2008, asteroid 2008 EV5.
In 2025, two astronauts go to the "Orion" to the Moon, which will study the asteroid. The size of the stone is unlikely to allow astronauts simultaneously stand on it. The astronauts will come out into the open space, and then return to Earth, taking the samples.
Plan A i>
Plan B i>