NASA Proposes to Lasso Asteroid and Pull it Back to Earth

$100 million for it in the president's budget; what could go wrong?


Nasa is going on an asteroid rodeo. In plans that sound like science fiction but that are aimed at becoming science fact, the US space agency has revealed its ambitions to lasso an asteroid and drag it back to the Earth. Nasa scientists are engaged on a hunt for a suitable space rock that can be the target of the mission, which has been scheduled tentatively for 2019.

"It really is a clever concept. Go find your ideal candidate for an asteroid. Go get it robotically and bring it back," said Florida senator Bill Nelson as he unveiled the plans at a press conference.

NEXT: Syrian Rebels Capturing Oil Fields

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I see that Obama and NASA want to spend $105 million now, and $2.6 billion in total, just to snag a steroid. What’s with all this wild, reckless, and un-needed over-spending?!?! I am QUITE sure that Barry Bonds or Lance Armstrong or any of a large number of our sports super-heroes today, could arrange for NASA to meet with their dealers, and snag a steroid, for FAR less than THAT!

  2. Reading the article, I was pleased to see the “baggie with a drawstring” idea rather than something more literally like a lasso.
    I remember when they were surveying the asteroids they found the rotational speeds were all below their own escape velocities. That implies they could be piles of gravel and dust, rather than an actual single, fused object.
    “Lassoing” might just get you a very expensive empty loop.

  3. Senator Bill Nelson quit wasting my money on your idiotic schemes. Ass ‘roid.

    1. Heard this story on NPR the other day and my first reaction was, “they wanna do what??? are they fucking crazy?”

      Then Bill Nelson’s name came up and all was explained.

      Floridians just keep electing the lovable old doofus.

  4. What about the environmental impact of such a thing? What if the asteroid contained toxic substances or radioactive materials? Maybe they should drop it in the middle of Washington DC, just in case.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.