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NASA reveals how its plan to capture an asteroid and harvest a piece would work

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NASA asteroid capture mission bag (Credit: NASA)
NASA asteroid capture mission bag (Credit: NASA)

Since the start of this year, NASA's been talking about the idea of capturing an asteroid and bringing it into orbit near the Earth, where astronauts can visit it and take home a sample. The US space agency isn't kidding around, either, already beginning plans to complete the mission by 2025. But today, NASA is finally showing off exactly how this would all work, and it looks incredible. In a new series of conceptual images and video, NASA reveals new details, such as that it wants to use ion engines to help capture the asteroid; that once it does, it will take the still in-development Orion crew capsule nine days to get to the space rock; and that it wants two astronauts to perform the mission.

It's still unclear at this point if Congress will provide enough funding for NASA to carry out its asteroid-sampling vision, but at the very least, the agency isn't wasting time getting rest of us here on Earth excited for it.