This artist’s illustration depicts a ‘Plymouth Rock’ asteroid mission with astronauts and NASA’s Orion spacecraft as envisioned by Lockheed Martin. CREDIT: Lockheed Martin

Asteroids May Be Tougher Target Than Mars for Manned Missions

by Mike Wall, SPACE.com Senior Writer
Date: 05 February 2013 Time: 07:00 AM ET

Though asteroids are viewed as stepping stones in NASA’s manned march to Mars, sending humans to a space rock may actually be a bigger challenge than putting boots on the Red Planet.

Mars is farther away than any near-Earth asteroid that NASA would target, but this disadvantage may be outweighed by the greater knowledge scientists have gained of the Red Planet thanks to the many Mars missions that have launched over the years, experts say.

Further, mapping out an asteroid mission is nearly impossible at this point, since NASA does not yet know where it’s going.

Read more: Asteroids May Be Tougher Target Than Mars for Manned Missions | Space.com.

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