Artist concept of asteroid. Image credit: ESO/L. Calçada.

Leaked information indicates that NASA is planning to capture an asteroid and use it as a space station. The ambitious plan is to capture a 500-ton asteroid, relocate it and then turn it into a space station orbiting the Moon for astronauts on their way to Mars and outer space.

A so-called asteroid-capture-capsule will be carried to space on an Atlas V rocket, it will then travel to the asteroid and tow it using its own thrusters, allocating it to between the Earth and the Moon.

This is if the White House’s Office of Science and technology approves the £1.6bn plan within the coming weeks as the future agenda and budget for NASA and the U.S. is to be set. If approved it would be the first time a celestial object has ever been moved by humans.

The project would coincide with the Osiris-Rex project, a spacecraft visiting the asteroid “1999 RQ36” in 2016 and take samples of it back to Earth.

NASA has yet to comment the information. It is undoubtedly not the best of times to set budgets for future ambitious space projects but you can count on us to follow this amazing story in the future when more information is available.