Think the moon looks lonely up there? In a decade or so, NASA may add a tiny playmate to keep the moon company. Last April, researchers from the Keck Institute for Space Studies presented a proposal to “capture” an asteroid and drag it into the moon’s orbit. The moon’s new mini-moon would provide NASA astronauts with a laboratory for studying the feasibility of mining asteroids for metals, using their oxygen, hydrogen and carbon to refuel spacecraft, and for figuring out ways to prevent a Cretaceous-style extinction event. Compared to the moon, the 500 ton, 20-foot asteroid would not be very big, but would be a feat of engineering to astonish the world.
Via Discover Magazine.