On Wednesday, Barack Obama will be proposing $100 million be dedicated to the US Space Agency in the 2014 budget. What for, you ask? Why, to detect the perfect asteroid to lasso like a space cowboy, of course!
Okay, so not entirely as cool as something that could have potentially been in Firefly, but this is definitely a good start: NASA has incredible, SciFi-turned-SciFact plans to capture an asteroid, then stabilize it to lock onto the moon’s orbit for a safer, simpler, and more cost-effective way to send astronauts to study meteors. And all with the power of a ‘baggie with a drawstring’, just much, much larger, and probably not made of the same material.
The advantages are three-fold, in that they can study and mine meteors more simply, learn ways to deflect future asteroids, and provide a place to develop ways we can finally step foot on Mars. The meteor will have to be the perfect size (about 25 feet in diameter, and roughly 500 tonnes), so the entirety of the initial budget will be spent finding the perfect little rock to nestle our noses.