NASA officials talk asteroid capture mission. Watch it live, here

Live streaming video by Ustream

NASA officials will discuss updates to the agency's audacious plan to capture an asteroid, and you can tune into the conversation live on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. PDT, right here.

The discussion will be live streamed in the video box above from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' Space Conference and Exposition in San Diego.

The asteroid redirect mission may sound like science fiction, but some of the smartest people at NASA are working hard to make it reality. In a nutshell, the space agency plans to bag an asteroid as it tumbles past Earth and drag it into orbit around the moon.

Asteroid Quiz: Test your space rock knowledge

And if that's not ambitious enough, once the space rock has moved into lunar orbit, the agency would like to send a pair of astronauts to collect samples from it.

So, how will NASA make this happen? They have some cool ideas, but they are still working out the details.

In June, the agency invited scientists, companies and average citizens to share their ideas on the best way to detect asteroids, the best way to bag them, and how to use a spacecraft to alter a dangerous asteroid's orbit.

"Too often, by the time we present a mission to the public, it has already been baked, and there's not much we can change," Robert Lightfoot, associate director of NASA, said at the time. "This is your chance to present your ideas to us before the mission is baked."

The agency received more than 400 responses before the window to submit ideas closed July 18. The agency has since selected 96 ideas that it regards as the most promising. Those ideas will be presented at an Asteroid Idea Synthesis Workshop that begins Sept. 30 in Houston.

Return to the Science Now blog.

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World