A group of scientists want to capture a near-earth asteroid and bring it closer to Earth, so we can use it as a platform for future space missions. This is not some wild future speculation: We already have the technology to do this.
A robotic probe could "grab" an asteroid that is made mostly of nickel-iron with simple magnets. It could grab a rocky asteroid with a harpoon or special "claws." Or a large spacecraft could fly near the object and change its gravity tractor, deflecting its trajectory, sending it closer to Earth. Astronomers have been studying how to do this in order to deflect an incoming asteroid that may impact our planet, sending it AWAY from Earth.
In Wired.com, Adam Mann quotes NASA's John Brophy as saying, "Once you get over the initial reaction--'You want to do what?!'--it actually starts to seem like a reasonable idea."
We may do incredible things in the future--maybe even discover that time travel is real (Anne Strieber thinks that this is who the Visitors are). Can you imagine a painting made in (what seems like) a mental institution (but which is filled with ex-CIA type agents) as really being a time machine? This is the premise behind Whitley Strieber's wonderful novel "The Omega Point," which you can get (along with an autographed bookplate designed by Whitley) from the Whitley Strieber Collection.
Make sure YOUR future is a wonderful one, and you don't run to your bookstore when Whitley Strieber's sequel to Communion, "Solving the Communion Enigma" is published in January, only to find out that they're all sold out. You can GUARANTEE that you'll get a copy if you PRE-ORDER it now AND once you have purchased the book, you'll need to either forward the e-receipt or send as a jpg, screenshot (etc.) to the publisher. You will then receive an autoresponse that will include a link to a page where you can input your address. Tarcher will send a special "Communion Enigma" bookplate out to the recipients shortly before publication date. To learn more, click here.