A respected space historian says NASA flying a ship to an asteroid is just fantasy. The 133 million dollars for a mission like that is in the 2015 budget for the space program. But, it may be more about keeping the money flowing than keeping the rocket ships flying. Will we fly up to that asteroid by the year 2025?
“It's not going to happen. It's just absolute fantasy,” says scientist Robert Zimmerman. “This proposal is NASA's attempt, and Congress maybe, and some lobbyists, trying to keep money going to the boondoggle called the space launch system.”
Zimmerman calls the space launch system a boondoggle which will never work. He says chances would be much better if private companies made it happen. Then the trip could be taken.
“If we have a very robust, viable, commercial space industry, building space ships and rockets, for profit, at low cost,” he says.
Another threat to the program is more immediate -- an American astronaut needs to fly to the International Space Station later this month. A Russian ship will be needed for that trip, and Russia is entangled in a controversial standoff on the Crimean Peninsula.