NASA is bringing together the best minds from across the world to come up with plans on how to land a human on an asteroid and Mars.

The Asteroid Initiative Ideas Synthesis Workshop began yesterday.  Associate NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot says this workshop is a chance to bring all the ideas on the table, "the is our first ever attempt for us to get people beyond Earth orbit and beyond the Moon, to a destination other than the surface of the moon."

The workshop is focusing on two areas.  The first, is called "Asteroid Redirect" which focuses on plans to avert exctinction from near Earth objects.  Like the meteor that crashed in Russia last year that injured thousands of people and caused millions of dollars in damage.

The second, is the "Asteroid Grand Challenge."  This is an agency-wide effort to lay the groundwork for putting a human on an asteroid.  The techonology needed will be the stepping stones for sending a human to Mars.

Scientists from all over the country are now at the Johnson Space Center and participating via the internet, are scientists from all over the world.