"This mission represents an unprecedented technological feat that will lead to new scientific discoveries and technological capabilities and help protect our home planet," Bolden said. "We will use existing capabilities, such as the Orion crew capsule and Space Launch System rocket, and develop new technologies like solar electric propulsion and laser communications -- all critical components of deep space exploration."
He also said NASA's plans, including the asteroid mission, rocket and robotic development, will help to create jobs for the next generation of scientists and engineers.
"NASA's ground-breaking science missions are reaching farther into our solar system, revealing unknown aspects of our universe and providing critical data about our home planet and threats to it," Bolden said. "Spacecraft are speeding to Jupiter, Pluto and Ceres while satellites peer into other galaxies, spot planets around other stars, and uncover the origins of the universe."
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