Asteroid takeout — a one-billionaire mission to bring a 500-ton asteroid to Earth by 2025

April 24, 2012 | Source: Ars Technica

Illustration of an asteroid retrieval spacecraft in the process of capturing a 7-m, 500-ton asteroid (credit: Rick Sternbach/KISS)

Cal Tech’s Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) commissioned a study of  the feasibility of bringing an asteroid to the International Space Station beginning in September 2011 and issued its report earlier this month.

The targeted asteroid would weight about 500 metric tons and measure roughly 7 meters across.

A robotic asteroid retrieval mission would contribute toward an invaluable advance in human spaceflight, a leap forward in several areas in which humankind must make progress in order to advance into the solar system.

Ref.: Keck Institute for Space Studies, Asteroid Retrieval Feasibility Study, 2012 [PDF] (open access)

Also see: Asteroid mining company Planetary Resources live webcast