What does the Orion space program plan to do with asteroids?

1 Answer
Jul 30, 2016

The Orion space program plans to redirect an asteroid to a safe point near the moon so astronauts can visit it and study it.


According to this 2013 post on the official NASA website, the mission of the SLS-EM1, or Space Launch System, Exploration Mission 1, is to carry an Orion spacecraft into an orbit around the Moon. There, astronauts could bring in an asteroid to a safe point near the moon where they could visit and study it as early as 2021.

The first test flight of the SLS will occur next year where it will send Orion 40,000 miles past the moon on a 25-day mission. This will allow engineers to assess systems and performance before it carries real astronauts.