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This question already has an answer here:

One of the missions NASA is planning is to redirect a small asteroid to lunar orbit and land astronauts on it.

If it can redirect asteroids, why not just send it to LEO and send a Dragon to it?

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marked as duplicate by TildalWave Oct 27 '15 at 23:49

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The reason is that a lunar orbit (specifically, a distant retrograde orbit or DRO) is much more stable compared to a low Earth orbit so you can leave it there for a long time and study it in the future. You also don't have to worry about it decaying and colliding with the Earth -- although the size of the target asteroid (actually only a piece of an asteroid) probably makes it nothing to worry about.

See this project for a decent description of DRO's and how they relate to NASA's asteroid redirect mission.

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  • $\begingroup$ uhoh link is barroquen! Without the description the answer is a lot less helpful. This is why link-only answers are discouraged. Is it possible to find another link, or at least a better description so it's possible to look for one? Thanks! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Dec 13 '18 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps this? scholar.colorado.edu/asen_gradetds/147 btw I've linked to your answer here $\endgroup$ – uhoh Dec 13 '18 at 3:58

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