26.03 | 22:45
The agency NASA develops scenarios unique experiment – the landing of American astronauts on an asteroid.
Previously considered two options. On the first planned to send to the heavenly body of up to 10 meters automatic machine that would pounce on an asteroid metal mesh towed to its lunar orbit.
The second scenario considered “towing” is not just an asteroid, but only its fragment the size of a large boulder, taken from the asteroid’s surface.
It is now known that the agency NASA stopped in the last version.
The beginning of the expedition is planned for 2020. It will take several years.
It is expected that a team of two astronauts will fly to study “towed” object not before 2025. The mission itself will last 25 days and will include the exit astronauts into space for the collection of soil samples of the asteroid and testing of new suits designed for deep space missions.
Scientists have not yet decided on the subject for the mission, but are now considered asteroid Itokawa, Bennu and 2008 EV5. Which of them will choose to become known until 2019.
This project will be training for a future manned mission to Mars. Its cost is estimated at $ 1.25 billion.