Space the Final Frontier

House Committee Expressly Forbids NASA Proceeding With Plans for an Asteroid Visit

You're GROUNDED, buster... unless you want to go to the moon instead?

No asteroids for you! (By NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckl [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

No asteroids for you! (By NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckl [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

So much for that little excursion: The Wall Street Journal reports that, as expected, the House Science Committee has torpedoed early funding for an admittedly far-fetched plan for a manned mission to an asteroid.

And when they say no, they’re not playing around: “the House panel approved language explicitly prohibiting the agency from proceeding with the proposed asteroid project,” according to the Journal.

Instead the moon remains the pretty girl everyone wants to take to the prom:

“Instead of backing the White House’s initiative to send a robotic mission to a small asteroid by 2016, tugging it into a new orbit and eventually sending a manned mission to bring home samples, the bill establishes priorities for returning astronauts to the moon, perhaps as soon as 2020, and ultimately sending them on to Mars.”

Somewhere (probably a zoo) Newt Gingrich rubs his hands together diabolically and whispers, “Good.”

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com