NASA is currently teaming up with Honeybee Robotics to create a shotgun that will shoot asteroids. The project, analogous to a space-related video game, will eventually help scientists study asteroids in further detail by bringing them closer to the moon. By doing so, researchers believe they will come one step closer to a human trip to Mars in the future.
Honeybee and NASA partner up to take down asteroids
Honeybee Robotics, a Brooklyn-based firm, has been working on different aspects of space robotics since 1986. Currently, the company is taking part in ARM, or the Asteroid Redirect Mission, with the goal of creating an extremely powerful shotgun that will break off a chunk of a large near-Earth asteroid.
Based on the impact of the blow, physicists will be able to study the various qualities of the space rock. Moreover, if scientists are able to get the asteroid into the moon’s stable orbit, it will be easier for them to collect samples for further study.
To carry out the mission, an unmanned spacecraft will be sent to space, which will be responsible for grabbing the stray pieces. In the process, researchers can observe any potential hazardous affects asteroids might have on the spacecraft. The information will ultimately help them engineer better technology, which might also make it easier to carry out a successful mission to Mars. Furthermore, it will create a better defense system for Earth, in the event of an asteroid collision situation.
When this will happen
To launch the project, researchers first have to choose an asteroid to shoot at; a few different possibilities have already been considered. The mission, however, is still in its preliminary stages. Although, there aren’t many details about the project currently, ARM is expected to initiate in 2020s.