Tag: Asteroid Redirect Mission

Exit Interview: Lori Garver on NASA’s Controversial Plan to Move an Asteroid

By Corey S. Powell | August 16, 2013 11:55 pm

A conversation with NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver is always livelier than her title would suggest. Her enthusiasm for all things space is immediately evident, and she always seems on the verge of speaking more candidly than her position supposedly allows. She’s not entirely immune to the carefully crafted talking points typically served up by high-level government officials, but the punctuations in her speech—“wow” when excited, “frankly” when frustrated—strip away the veneer.

Asteroid mission

Asteroid Redirect Mission–one current concept illustrated here–would latch onto a small asteroid and then use high-power solar electric propulsion to haul it to near-Earth space. (Credit: NASA/Advanced Concepts Lab)

Lately, Garver has been using plenty of both words as she drums up support for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, a proposal to send a robotic spacecraft to a small near-Earth asteroid (perhaps about 15-20 feet wide), tow it back to a location near the moon, and send astronauts to study it. The concept has sparked a lot of public excitement, but also a fair bit of skepticism on Capital Hill, where the House Science Committee voted to block funding for the program. Read More


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