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Researchers find 12 easily captured near-Earth asteroids


Both NASA and Planetary Resources dream of capturing asteroids, but they need viable targets -- many space rocks aren't easily moved. The University of Strathclyde just gave those organizations some help by identifying 12 near-Earth asteroids that are relatively easy to catch. All of them would require velocity changes of less than 1,640 feet per second to fall into orbit around Earth's Lagrangian points, where the gravity balance would let miners and researchers get to work. Don't expect intercept missions anytime soon, though. One of the more accessible targets, 2006 RH120, would have to be nudged in February 2021 to reach orbit in 2026; it will be a long while before any of us sees an asteroid up close.

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