Scientists aim to 'lasso' next asteroid to mine its resources

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 11:30 hrs

While U.S. human spaceflight program is planning to send astronauts out to an asteroid - a group of scientists wants to instead bring an asteroid back to Earth to mine its resources.

They are looking for something similar but much smaller than asteroid 2012 DA14, which will approach close to Earth at 2:24 p.m. EST Friday, the Discovery News reported.

"We're interested in learning how to bring back a 350- to 1,000-ton asteroid. This one is 140,000 to 150,000 tons," Paul Dimotakis, a professor of aeronautics and applied physics at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., told the channel.

What they want is not to actually land an asteroid on the planet's surface, but to put one into orbit around the Earth or the moon and then send astronauts or robots to retrieve samples. (ANI)

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