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It looks like NASA might have hit another breakthrough.

The national space program is currently building a robotic spaceship to “lasso” an asteroid in order to move it to closer to the moon.

A top senator revealed that the plan for the asteroid is to have astronauts be able to explore it.

According to NBC News, President Obama is funding the project with $100 million so that the spaceship will capture the asteroid in 2019, and astronauts can explore it by the year 2021.

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The site reports:

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.

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The site also reports:

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.

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