The Japanese and the Europeans are looking at ways to take samples from asteroids, seeking the 'building blocks of life'. Meanwhile, the merkins are looking at ways to destroy them -presumably as part of "The War on space Terror".
The Japanese space agency (JAXA) has confirmed a new mission to collect samples from an asteroid and return them safely to earth, and has set the target as 1999 JU3 - one of the damper asteroids in range. “We’re expecting the asteroid to be rich in hydrated minerals and, we believe, in organic compounds - long carbon chains …
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