Gearing Up for Manned Mission To An Asteroid Popular Science

The Plymouth Rock project could be a stepping stone to Mars. A plan to send a manned space mission to land on an asteroid is gaining traction within both NASA and the aerospace industry as experts look to bridge the feasibility gap between lunar missions and an eventual rendezvous with Mars. Of course, no party is ruling out the possibility of an Armageddon-esque trip to a Near Earth Object (NEO) on a harmful trajectory, should the need arise in the future.
While neither NASA or the White House has signed off on — or even offered funding to study — such a mission, briefing charts put together by Lockheed Martin, maker of the space agency’s next-gen passenger spacecraft, detail how a mission might work. It’s not as far-fetched, or far away, as one might think, with a mission to an NEO possible in a 2020-2025 time frame.