GREENBELT, Md., Aug. 23 (UPI) -- NASA has released photos and a video it says visualizes its planned mission to find, capture, redirect and study a near-Earth asteroid.
The visuals are part of an asteroid mission baseline concept to develop further in 2014 to help engineers establish more details about the mission, the space agency reported.
The images depict crew operations including the Orion spacecraft's trip to and rendezvous with the relocated asteroid captured by a robotic vehicle, as well as astronauts maneuvering through a spacewalk to collect samples from the asteroid, it said.
Such a trip from Earth to the captured asteroid would take Orion and its two-person crew an estimated nine days, engineers said
Engineers and scientists across the agency would be evaluating several alternatives as well as ideas from the public, for consideration throughout mission planning, NASA said.
NASA is currently assessing more than 400 responses received to a request for information in which industry, universities and the public offered ideas for the initiative.