Trip to asteroid could give life to Ares V rocket, Huntsville Times
The Augustine panel's report also suggests that an asteroid destination would allow NASA to use resources trapped in the floating rocks and mine rocket fuel from them, setting up a "gas station" or depot in space. These could be used to help get to other planets. "There's so much you can do with an asteroid mission. NASA could land or choose to send a crew there and use robots to set up a mining station," said Keith Cowing, a longtime NASA critic who runs the Web site NASAWatch.com. "Also, NASA has been studying asteroid missions for years. There's a lot of research out there on this."