U.S. President Barack Obama has told NASA workers in Florida that they should focus on asteroids, Mars, and more robotic missions instead of planning a return to the moon. Visiting an asteroid would teach us a lot about space, Reuters reports: they can tell scientists how planets form, and might also contain primordial elements that helped make the early solar system. NASA could also learn how to break them up if needed. NASA’s Near Earth Object Program has identified over 1,000 potentially hazardous asteroids, although none are on a collision course with Earth.
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