"Nasa scientists are planning to capture a 500 ton asteroid, relocate it and turn it into a space station for astronauts on their way to Mars. The White House's Office of Science and technology will consider the 1.6bn plan in the coming weeks as it prepares to set its space exploration agenda for the next decade. Nasa declined to comment on the project because it said it was in negotiations with the White House, but it is believed that technology would make it possible within 10-12 years."
"Bolden also said "on our way to an asteroid or Mars we may find a way to get people to the Moon or a LaGrange point .... some reporter in the back of the room is going to write saying that we are going to a LaGrange Point. I did not say that"
"At one point, Bolden teared up and said that "Mars is the Goal". Bolden claimed that he was intent upon going to the White House, "pounding his shoe on the table", and demanding a commitment from President Obama to direct NASA to send humans to Mars. Bolden said that he needs that commitment to allow him to decide what to do (not do) with regard to extending the ISS."
Is It Time For Charlie Bolden To Pound His Shoe?, earlier post
"When NASA gets its FY 2013 budget passback from OMB they will see that in addition to not approving the L2 station, there is none of the additional, strong Mars commitment that Charlie Bolden declared must be in the budget (other than what the President has already said, that is). No word yet as to whether Bolden has requested a meeting at the White House for his shoe pounding event."
Keith's note: The President directs NASA to send a human mission to an asteroid and prepare for a trip to Mars in the 2030s. NASA responds with plans to build a space station at L2 and Charlie Bolden says he'll bang his shoe on the table if the President does not give NASA a mandate to go to Mars and says that a mission to an asteroid doesn't need to actually go to an asteroid. Now NASA wants to bring an asteroid back to Earth. You can get whiplash if you follow Charlie Bolden's strategic planning too closely. When it comes to having a coherent, consistent, strategic plan, NASA doesn't have one. Instead, it spins around in 10 directions at once - as if it has institutionalized Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Someone needs to hit the reset button.