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back to article NASA ponders manned near-Earth asteroid visit

A faction within NASA are proposing a disaster-movie-esque manned space mission to an asteroid on a trajectory close to Earth, it has been revealed. Space.com reports that the new generation of "Constellation" manned spacecraft, with which NASA plans to replace the venerable space shuttle fleet, could be used. Constellation …

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Great solution

1. Name a Near Earth Object 'Al Queda'

2. Talk it up in speeches

3. Profit!

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Whatever

I used to be really excited by space stories. Now I'm mostly not, because NASA and ESA are so worthless.

It's likely that all of this will take so long, my grandchildren will be lucky to see it.

I sincerely hope that China bangs on with it's manned space programme and maybe even starts to spout off about commercial potential in space, then maybe NASA, ESA and their respective governments will pull their collective fingers out and actually do something, instead of just spending billions of quid and countless hours drawing 'artist's impressions' of what things in space might one day look like if we could be bothered to do anything except draw stupid pictures of it.

And as for us brits, students at our leading universities think that 'space research' involves tying cameras to dirty great balloons and letting go of them. The best we can come up with is Dr Colin "well, we think we know what went wrong" Pillinger.

Still, at least the beagle contretemps had a positive outcome, e.g one piece of Damien Hirst 'artwork' was destroyed before it could pollute the solar system with it's asinine wankyness. But that's a different rant altogether.

And as for the yanks, you lot built, at massive expense, a spaceship so manifestly arse that it gets damaged by hailstones, can't fly if the weather is even slightly inclement, and regularly falls to bits or explodes on takeoff/landing. It's made of fucking foam, FFS !

No wonder the NASA astronauts take the opportunity to get thoroughly shitfaced before boarding.

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Bronze badge

(Untitled)

"The spacecraft could also conduct research which might be of use in future attempts to deal with dangerous emergent NEOs, killing two stones with one bird as it were."

Lovely, Lewis. ...first time that I've smiled at work, today.

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Normally I'd care but

I don't think anyone is dumb enough to go, our space program (choak cough wheeze) is just like the rest of our benighted society so full of mediocre clueless incompetents that they couldn't design a spaceship like the one required for this mission if their lives depended on it and it's pretty obvious. Forget about eduacation lets have more religion in the classroom waybe we can pray ourselves out of economic slavery to the Chinese.

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@ Steve

"It's made of fucking foam, FFS !"

Actually, as the STS-117 mission so brilliantly pointed out, you can actually sew/staple bits of the Shuttle together. It's only a matter of time before some devious-yet-bitter NASA type steals the knitting pattern and everyone will be making their own Shuttles.

Whether you'd want to is another matter entirely.

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Anonymous Coward

Orbital space dock, anyone?

What about building the spacecrafts in orbit, a la Star Trek? If you want to go to Mars, should the ship be designed to be launched from Earth in one go, or be built in orbit? All the bad-weather-delaying-launch theory is gone.

If the ship is built in orbit, and is never to land on Earth, a lot of restraints are gone. It doesn't need to be aerodynamic for a start. It doesn't need thermal shielding, radiation shielding is of more concern. No need even for a landing gear! There are always other means to land on any planet...

If NASA is serious about going to Mars, they should start thinking about ship designs like the 2001 movie... artificial gravity by rotating sections and stuff... I bet they could do it in 30 years with today's technology. The propulsion system is still needed though. Those few billions spent on defense would ensure continuous funding for the project...

If USA wants to explore the outer space, they should stop funding their huge war waging facilities. Otherwise, they will keep using the Shuttles until they are all destroyed, because apparently I haven't heard anything about replacements being in construction. You can't wage war against the rest of the planet and explore the outer space, all at once. While waging war, all they can afford is to land on asteroids, maybe not even that... sigh... pathetic. If you want divert people from your internal affairs, create a war, and force the media to focus on it, by saying the most stupid things on live TV... Meanwhile your infrastructure collapses due to LACK OF MAINTENANCE, FOR G. sakes!

But I digress...

Yes, landing on asteroids would be the next logical step.

Geez...

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