Have you ever wanted to be a NASA scientist? Or maybe you fancy doing some freelance work for them? Would you work for the agency for $6 Million? One of the research areas that NASA is currently involved in is the Asteroid Redirect Mission.
This particular avenue of research is going to be one of the key elements which hope to put humans on planet Mars. NASA obviously is well funded and they have their own resources to explore the possible options for this mission, but NASA is opening up their doors to creative solutions and new ideas from people that are involved in studies which may assist them in their mission. If you are involved in such research, NASA is asking that you visit their original Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) listings. The announcement on the BAA says that the agency is looking for concept studies in areas such as “asteroid capture systems, rendezvous sensors and adapting commercial spacecraft for the Asteroid Redirect Mission.”
NASA are also wanting to connect and form partnerships with those that are involved in “feasibility studies for secondary payloads” and manned missions. NASA’s Asteroid Initiative consists of 2 parts: the Asteroid Grand Challenge and the Asteroid Redirect Mission. The Asteroid Grand Challenge is focused on the development of new partnerships, which will accelerate the established planetary defence work, and the Asteroid Redirect Mission is focussing on how to “collect and redirect an asteroid” that would enable astronauts to probe and explore it.
The asteroid redirection mission involves the identification of an asteroid. The deploying of a robotic mission, which can ‘capture and redirect’ it to a safe orbit beyond the moon. Then the mission ends by sending in astronauts in NASA’s Orion spacecraft to the asteroid and then send back samples to earth. This mission is part of the greater initiative to send men to Mars.
The associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA, William Gerstenmaier, has said the agency is hoping to tap into the massive creative pool of ideas from outside that align with their man-on-mars vision. The bad news for the public is that only 25 proposals will make it. NASA has earmarked $6 million funding for the project.
NASA wants to keep the general public engaged in the ongoing Asteroid Redirect Mission and keep them in the loop regarding the Asteroid Grand Challenge as well. You can follow the projects via NASA Television and there is an online stream as part of the coverage. All you have to do is register and you can stay updated.
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[Image via jpl.nasa]