Asteroid redirection is a concept that has been tried and tested before, but this time NASA is getting the go-ahead to launch a mission to redirect an asteroid toward Earth.
The Asteroid Transfer Mission is scheduled to launch in 2021, and is designed to blast off in 2019.
The Asteroid Interplanetary Mission (AIM), meanwhile, is a similar concept, but will launch in 2020 and is expected to last six years.
The asteroid retrieval mission is expected in 2025, and the Asteroid Impact Mission is slated for launch in 2030.
The first phase of the Asteroids Redirect mission is planned to take place in 2019, and will be conducted in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
The second phase is planned for 2024 and will involve the Asteron system in between Earth and Jupiter, and include the Asterolaunch Mission.
Asteroid Redirection Mission is planned as a multi-stage mission.
The first stage will launch an asteroid and send it to a geostationary transfer orbit around Earth, where it will undergo a close flyby of a target asteroid.
The next stage will carry the asteroid and it will return to Earth.AIM will be launched by the Space Launch System rocket, which is currently scheduled to be built in Alabama.
The third stage will be the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV), a reusable launch vehicle.
The Orion is scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral in 2018, and a test flight is scheduled at Cape Canaveral on June 24.
Aerospace and Space Exploration Agency (AESA) CEO Michael Griffin said in a statement that the Asteros AsteroidRedirect Mission “will send an asteroid to a near-Earth asteroid to be returned to Earth, which will serve as a crucial step towards the eventual goal of redirecting the asteroid from its current orbit around the sun to one that will orbit closer to Earth and eventually be captured by our planet.”
“The Asteroids Transfer Mission will be one of the first stages of the new Asteroid Rebound Mission, which, once developed, will provide the critical first step in establishing a human presence on the surface of another planet,” Griffin added.
“The Astrobotic mission will send an unmanned spacecraft to capture an asteroid from space.
The mission will take three months to complete and will fly by Mars and will orbit around a distant asteroid, which can then be returned home to Earth for study.
AIM will also be a launch vehicle for the Asterols Asteroid Lander.”
Astrobotic Launch Vehicle (ASLV) launched in March 2021.NASA said the Astero-Redirect mission would provide “a significant milestone in the exploration of space” and would be “an important step towards our goal of establishing a permanent human presence in space.”
A rocket carrying the Astrobotics mission to the asteroid, dubbed the Asteroblaster, is expected launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on June 26, 2021.