Nasa is preparing a three-month manned mission to an asteroid that is scheduled to pass close to Earth in 2030.
The space agency has prepared a plan, seen by The Guardian, for a mission to the 1.1 million ton 2000SG344 asteroid.
The asteroid caused concern in 2000 when the chance of it hitting Earth on its next visit in 2030 was raised to 500-1.
"An asteroid will one day be on a collision course with Earth and it makes sense, after going to the moon, to start learning more about them," said Rob Landis, an engineer at Nasa's Johnson Space Centre.
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