Video: White House, NASA Officials Discuss Asteroid Redirect Mission

NASA

The mission's robotic spacecraft will launch in 2021 and fly to an asteroid and capture a chunk of it using an enhanced gravity tractor to bring it back to orbit our moon.

NASA recently launched the OSIRIS-REx mission, to map and study an asteroid, but one of the agency's next step into space will go even farther. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission is an ambitious project that will bring asteroid samples back to Earth.

The mission's robotic spacecraft will launch in 2021 and fly to an asteroid and capture a chunk of it using an enhanced gravity tractor to bring it back to orbit our moon.

Once the spacecraft and asteroid piece are safely in lunar orbit, NASA will launch another rocket from Earth, this time manned, to land on the asteroid to investigate and collect samples.

John Holdren of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and ARM Program Director Michele Gates recently sat down at the Goddard Space Flight Center to discuss the mission and its significance, especially how it will support NASA’s eventual goal of sending humans to Mars.

To learn more, check out the video below from NASA: