NASA planning on capturing an asteroid and turning it into a space station?

I saw this first on Wikipedia's Current Events page, where I usually peruse for news. Say what you will about Wikipedia, but their news aggregation is top notch. Anyway, it was there that I found the most curious of headlines: "NASA scientists are planning to capture a 500 ton near-Earth asteroid, relocate it and turn it into a space station for astronauts on their route to Mars after 2025." Needless to say, I got a bit giddy. I mean, how awesome would it be to capture a freaking asteroid, move it to where we want and turn that sucker into a space station? That would be a major milestone for both NASA, science, and the human race. Not bad for something that might cost all of $2.5 billion. It would also be nice to see NASA get its swagger back and start thinking big again.

My elation was stifled, however, when I saw that one of the news sources cited was the Daily Mail, or as a lot of people call it, the Daily Fail. The Daily Mail is a tabloid at best and at worst, makes Fox News look unbiased. The second source was for the Times of India, which is more reputable, but I decided to look around on Google for more verification and failed. Most of the news websites reporting on NASA's supposed plan were either less reputable than Daily Mail, or just copied and pasted their report.

I did notice that both the Mail and Times of India, along with reddit and Slashdot are linked to a .pdf on Caltech's website about the feasibility of actually capturing an asteroid and turning it into a space station for a future manned mission to Mars, so there's some creditability. I hope this is true, because it would be an incredible step towards becoming a space faring race. Today, capturing one asteroid, tomorrow, asteroid mining, colonies on the Moon, Mars, and beyond!

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