The $100 million will probably be part of President Barack Obama’s federal budget request for 2014, which is expected to be released next week, Nelson said. The money is intended to get the ball rolling on the asteroid-retrieval project, which also aims to send astronauts out to the captured space rock in 2021.
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson has said of the project:
“This is part of what will be a much broader program,” Nelson said Friday during a visit to Orlando. “The plan combines the science of mining an asteroid along with developing ways to deflect one, along with providing a place to develop ways we can go to Mars.”
Even though Obama plans to fund the project with $100 million, it will cost about $2.6 billion to actually move the asteroid into place.
Nelson said he thinks the Obama administration is in favor of the asteroid-retrieval plan. In 2010, the president directed NASA to work to get astronauts to a near-Earth asteroid by 2025, then on to the vicinity of Mars by the mid-2030s.
This is exciting news for NASA, and we hope to see this plan pan out.