Wellington: NASA is on a lookout for a asteroid in space, which is circling the Sun and is passing close to Earth.
The US space agency has proposed that the rock should neither be too big nor too small and should be about 7-10 metres in diameter.
They also said that the rock can`t be spinning too rapidly, asserting that neither should it be the speed demon nor can it be a heap of loose material, like a rubble pile.
The rock, if the space agency can find it, is going to become the target for what the agency calls the Asteroid Redirect Mission.
It`s an idea that is controversial among lawmakers, and is full with technical and scientific uncertainties, and is very hard to explain to ordinary people.
The mission, which is going to cost upward of 2 billion dollars, will use a robotic spacecraft to bring the small rock into a stable orbit around the Moon.
Then, as per NASA`s plan, astronauts will blast off in a new space capsule atop a jumbo rocket, fly toward the Moon, go into lunar orbit.
Then they`d put on spacewalking suits, walk out of the capsule and examine the rock in its bag, and take samples.