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Exploration

Asteroid Redirect Mission Critique

By Keith Cowing
October 29, 2014
Filed under ,

Human spaceflight: Find asteroids to get to Mars
“Some options are better than others. The cost and complexity of human space exploration demands that each element be measured by its value towards the ultimate goal: Mars. But NASA’s stated next priority will not contribute to that aim. Its Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)2 is a multibillion-dollar stunt to retrieve part of an asteroid and bring it close to Earth where astronauts can reach it. It will require an ancillary spacecraft deploying either a huge capture bag or a Rube Goldberg contraption resembling a giant arcade-game claw. Neither technology is useful for getting humans to Mars.”
Bolden’s Confusing Asteroid Mission Rationale (Revised), earlier post
Congress, NAC, SBAG, Question Asteroid Mission, earlier post
Report of the Small Bodies Assessment Group Asteroid Redirect Mission Special Action Team, 30 July 2014 (Draft), earlier post
SBAG Asteroid Redirect Mission Special Action Team, July 2014 presentation, earlier post
Asteroid Experts Are Not Very Fond of NASA’s Asteroid Mission, earlier post

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.