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NASA wants to launch its asteroid capture mission in 2019


NASA's plans to snag an asteroid just got a little more concrete. The space agency has narrowed down the launch of its Asteroid Redirect Mission to 2019, with the choice of rock coming a year before that. At the moment, the administration is torn between two potential destinations. One proposed mission plan has the vehicle bringing back a tiny asteroid less than 32 feet across; another would scoop out a "boulder-sized" chunk from a larger target. Officials expect to make a decision late this year, though, and five years is trivial in light of NASA's more ambitious projects. And don't worry if that's still too long to wait -- the folks behind Kerbal Space Program are more than happy to sate your appetite for asteroid retrieval.

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