Captured asteroid, illustration

Captured asteroid, illustration

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Captured asteroid. Illustration of an astronaut carrying out a space walk on a captured asteroid and preparing to take samples. The asteroid has been placed in a stable orbit in the Earth-Moon system as part of a proposed future NASA mission known as the Asteroid Redirect Mission. The unmanned spacecraft would take around 4 years to reach its target. A capture bag is used to enclose an asteroid around 8 metres across, using ion thrusters to redirect it towards Earth. A crewed mission would then land on the asteroid and take samples. Hundreds of rings on the capture bag help the astronaut navigate the surface. Artwork published in 2013.

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