President Obama’s vision to take human to asteroid is a lot closer with Orion Spacecraft getting ready. President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget request for NASA includes funding for an initiative to find capture and redirect an asteroid and then send humans to explore and sample it. Orion’s subsystems and components built around the country are now coming together in the operations at Kennedy Space Center.
Orion Spacecraft is on track for an un-crewed exploration flight test-1 next year a mission that will see the vehicle travel farther into space than any human spacecraft has gone in more than 30 years and returned at high speeds to test the heat shields performance.
Robert Cabana, Direct at Kennedy Space Center said in a recent news event, “Flight vehicle Orion getting ready to fly next year. We’ve made tremendous progress in our transition to the future we are thrilled with this mission we are looking forward to it”
Eventually Orion will be used to send humans to Mars. The mission would allow astronauts to examine the object up close and return samples to earth for further study.
This YouTube video simulation shows how astronauts would travel and collects samples from asteroid –