NASA preparing to visit an asteroid - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

NASA preparing to visit Mars, asteroid

Updated:
NASA is currently working on a program that take astronauts beyond the moon, to Mars and even asteroids.(Source: NBC News) NASA is currently working on a program that take astronauts beyond the moon, to Mars and even asteroids.(Source: NBC News)

(NBC News) - NASA hopes to put a man on Mars, but the first step is building a spaceship for a trip to the moon or an asteroid first.

Astronauts are already training for such a mission at Johnson Space Center, testing a new spacesuit and using tools to gather soil samples in a simulated environment similar to that of an asteroid.

"I can learn a lot about how the universe formed, what were the initial building blocks of the universe and those types of things," said astronaut Rex Walheim. "The science is really exciting from that perspective, but also we need to learn how to live farther away from space."

Walheim is working on Orion, a program designed to take man beyond the moon and perhaps one day Mars.

"It allows us to flush out a lot of the systems, make sure they work the way we expect, and also do some pretty cool science," said Orion Program Manager Mark Geyer.

They're also practicing with a mock-up of the Orion crew capsule, where the astronauts would live, sleep and explore places we've never been before.

Later this year, a rocket will carry the Orion into space for the first real test flight. It is the first big step at getting the U.S. back to using our own spaceships to put astronauts in space.

"We're going to fly this year. Then exploration is real and we're on the path," Geyer said.

The first big test of Orion is scheduled for December.

Source: http://bit.ly/1jV1cev

Copyright 2014 NBC. All rights reserved.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Taliban kill 14 Shiites in Afghanistan road attack

    Taliban kill 14 Shiites in Afghanistan road attack

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:52 AM EDT2014-07-25 08:52:10 GMT
    An Afghan official says Taliban insurgents halted minibuses in western Afghanistan, identified 14 Shiite passengers and shot them dead by the side of the road.More >>
    An Afghan official says Taliban insurgents halted minibuses in western Afghanistan, identified 14 Shiite passengers and shot them dead by the side of the road.More >>
  • Ukraine reports overnight rebel attacks on border

    Ukraine reports overnight rebel attacks on border

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:33 AM EDT2014-07-25 08:33:37 GMT
    The Ukrainian army has reported rebel attacks overnight throughout the restive east, claiming that at one border crossing the rebels were supported by artillery fire from the Russian side.More >>
    The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the restive east.More >>
  • Towering worry: Small holes cause big jitters

    Towering worry: Small holes cause big jitters

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:33 AM EDT2014-07-25 08:33:27 GMT
    For the developers of the world's sixth tallest building near Seoul, a mysteriously shrinking lake and the appearance of small sinkholes in residential neighborhoods couldn't have come at a more inopportune...More >>
    For the developers of the world's sixth tallest building near Seoul, a mysteriously shrinking lake and the appearance of small sinkholes in residential neighborhoods couldn't have come at a more inopportune time.More >>