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NASA's bold asteroid-capture mission is an expensive distraction that does little to advance the agency's overarching goal of getting humans to Mars, one prominent researcher argues.

For the past 18 months, NASA has been working on a plan to drag an entire near-Earth asteroid, or a boulder plucked from a large space rock, into lunar orbit using a robotic probe. The captured asteroid could then be visited by astronauts aboard the agency's Orion crew capsule, ideally by 2025 at the latest.

NASA officials say this "Asteroid Redirect Mission," or ARM, will help develop the technologies and know-how required to send astronauts to Mars, which the space agency hopes to accomplish by the mid-2030s. [NASA's Asteroid Capture Mission in Images]

Why would it? To read more and view the video, click here.