Fla. senator says NASA to capture asteroid, put in orbit around moon

NASA hopes to accomplish task in 8 years

Published On: Apr 05 2013 07:12:38 PM EDT
WASHINGTON -

A Florida U.S. Senator and former astronaut says NASA wants to use a robotic spacecraft to catch an asteroid and tow it back to earth.

Sen. Bill Nelson said on Friday NASA plans to capture the asteroid so it can be put into orbit around the moon.

Astronauts would travel to the asteroid to mine on it, research ways to deflect one from hitting Earth and help develop technology for a trip to Mars.

NASA hopes to accomplish all of this in just 8 years.

Nelson said President Obama has set aside $100 million in his proposed budget to help jump start the plan. The budget will be unveiled next week.