Moscow, April 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia’s space agency Roscosmos may join NASA’s ambitious mission to capture an asteroid and place it in high lunar orbit for exploration, its head Vladimir Popovkin said.
“[It is] a very interesting project, which NASA proposes to carry out jointly with Roscosmos specialists,” Popovkin told Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper.
“We could send a manned expedition to explore the asteroid or study it with probes,” he said.
The asteroid-retrieval mission was first proposed last year by the Keck Institute for Space Studies at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
The project envisions capturing a 25-foot wide asteroid, weighing approximately 500 metric tonnes, in a giant draw-string bag and towing it to the Moon orbit.