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How It Works: NASA Asteroid-Capture Mission in Pictures

NASA to Pick Boulder Off an Asteroid

NASA

NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission, to be performed by robots, may attempt to lift a piece of loose rubble from a massive Near Earth Asteroid and return it for analysis. Here is one way this might be done.

Asteroid Redirect Robotic Vehicle Concept Descends

NASA

In this concept image, the robotic vehicle descends to the surface of a large asteroid to collect a boulder that it can redirect to a distant retrograde lunar orbit.

Asteroid Sample Retrieval

NASA

This concept image shows an astronaut retrieving a sample from the captured asteroid. Image released Aug. 22, 2013. [Read the Full Story Here]

Asteroid Redirect Vehicle with Capture Bag and EVA

NASA

This concept image shows an astronaut preparing to take samples from the captured asteroid after it has been relocated to a stable orbit in the Earth-moon system. Hundreds of rings are affixed to the asteroid capture bag, helping the astronaut carefully navigate the surface. Image released Aug. 22, 2013. [Read the Full Story Here]

Orion Docking Approach

NASA

This newly released concept art shows NASA’s Orion spacecraft approaching the robotic asteroid capture vehicle. The trip from Earth to the captured asteroid will take Orion and its two-person crew an estimated nine days. Image released Aug. 22, 2013. [Read the Full Story Here]

Charles Bolden Speaks at Asteroid Initiative Forum

NASA

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden opened the forum with strong support for the Asteroid Initiative as stepping stone to human exploration of Mars.

Michele Gates Leads Asteroid Redirect Mission Panel

NASA

Michele Gates of NASA Headquarters led the first panel on Asteroid Redirect Mission concept studies. Seated left to right: Lindley Johnson, Brian Muirhead, Dan Mazanek, Jim Reuter, Steve Stich, Jason Crusan.

Asteroid Redirect Robotic Vehicle Concept

NASA

In this concept image, the robotic vehicle deploys an inflatable bag to envelop a free-flying small asteroid before redirecting it to a distant retrograde lunar orbit.

7th Graders Speak with Bolden

NASA

The morning of the forum, 7th grade asteroid hunters from Dillard Drive Middle School of Raleigh, North Carolina spoke with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden about their search for near-Earth asteroids.

Asteroid Sample Storage

NASA

This concept image shows an astronaut storing a sample that was collected from the captured asteroid. Image released Aug. 22, 2013.[Read the Full Story Here]

Robotic Asteroid Redirect Vehicle with Orion

NASA

This conceptual image shows NASA’s Orion spacecraft approaching the robotic asteroid capture vehicle. The trip from Earth to the captured asteroid will take Orion and its two-person crew an estimated nine days. Image released Aug. 22, 2013. [Read the Full Story Here]

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