NASA has set an ambitious goal: sending humans to an asteroid by 2025. In order to succeed, the mission will require a combination of current capabilities and yet-to-be-developed technologies, which the space agency is now seeking as part of a broad agency announcement.
NASA is soliciting proposals that will contribute to its Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) -- specifically, technologies that include an alternate asteroid capture system, rendezvous sensor systems, and secondary payloads. The capture system must be capable of enormous operations in order to restrain a 30- to 1,000-metric-ton asteroid against a robotic spacecraft.
The proposals, due May 5, could be worth up to $6 million in total awards from NASA.
Here's some additional information from NASA's Asteroid Initiative Opportunities Forum:
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— Elena Malykhina has written for InformationWeek.com, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific America, and other publications.