Asteroid-Capture to Prep for Manned Flight to Mars Discovery News

NASA’s ambitious plan to snag an asteroid and put it into orbit for astronauts to explore should help put people on Mars, space agency officials said Tuesday (April 29).
Called the Asteroid Redirect Mission, NASA’s plan involves capturing a relatively small asteroid using a robotic spacecraft and placing it into orbit around the moon where astronauts can visit the asteroid in 2025. While this may sound like a very specific kind of mission, the technology and skills used to get astronauts safely to and from the asteroid will help NASA get to the Red Planet. On the asteroid mission, scientists and engineers will be able to work out some potential problems that astronauts could encounter on a mission to Mars, expected to take place sometime in the 2030s.