NASA to build space shotgun to blast asteroids
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NASA is developing world's first space shotgun that can blast asteroids into small pieces for collection as samples when a robotic spacecraft reaches near one such space rock in the near future.
The ARM aims to chop off a massive chunk of an asteroid and shift it into the Moon's orbit.
Then, a manned spacecraft will collect samples and send these back to the Earth for further examination.
The US space agency plans to launch the unmanned ARM in early 2020s.
As part of it, the scientists will use a robotic spacecraft to capture a large boulder from the surface of a near-Earth asteroid and move it into a stable orbit around the moon for exploration by astronauts.