Russia may join asteroid retrieval mission

April 4, 2013 at 8:34 PM

MOSCOW, April 4 (UPI) -- Russia says its Roscosmos space agency may join NASA in an ambitious mission to capture an asteroid and bring it to a lunar orbit for exploration.

The asteroid-retrieval proposal -- to capture a 25-foot, 500-ton asteroid in a net and tow it to an orbit around the moon -- was first proposed last year by the Keck Institute for Space Studies at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

"[It is] a very interesting project, which NASA proposes to carry out jointly with Roscosmos specialists," Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin said.

"We could send a manned expedition to explore the asteroid or study it with probes," he said.

NASA reportedly is set to ask Congress for $100 million in its next budget request to initiate the project that could be in place by 2025, RIA Novosti reported.

Keck researchers said they estimated the entire cost of such a retrieval mission could reach $2.65 billion.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending News
Test predicts teen risk factor for cardiovascular disease
Gene therapy effective against form of inherited vision loss
Foot of new human ancestor, Homo naledi, resembles our own
NASA releases thousands of Apollo mission photos on Flickr
Study: European austerity to blame for rise in male suicide