Getty Images, photo by Dan Kitwood

It sounds like something from science fiction, but it could happen by 2021, as NASA is planning on sending a robotic spaceship to lasso a small asteroid and park it by the moon. Senator Bill Nelson says the president has given the go ahead to bring a space rock closer to Earth so it can be studied.

The idea is to develop a way to slowly nudge the asteroid out of its orbit and bring it closer to Earth; it’s also a way to develop safety measures to protect the planet from future asteroids heading our way.  President Obama is putting $100 million in the 2014 budget to get the program off the ground sooner rather than later. Senator Nelson is the chairperson of the science and space subcommittee and says with the funding earmarked in the 2014 budget, it would speed up the program by four years and by 2021, astronauts can be sent to the asteroid to study it.