The 2011 Asteroid Retrieval Mission Study at the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) helped lead to a new and important NASA proposal for human space exploration. Mission development is under way at four NASA Centers. KISS has continued their study with a technical development phase considering use of the Palomar Transient Factory for additional near-Earth asteroid observations and a mission architecture task looking more broadly at how asteroid retrieval technology might be used to extend human activities beyond cislunar space. As part of this latter task we will hold this workshop on Applications of Asteroid Redirection Technology.
Since the development of the asteroid retrieval mission concept a number of suggestions and ideas have been brought forward for applications to other missions (with interplanetary destinations), planetary defense, human space transportation, commercial exploitation and science investigations. We believe consideration of other applications is important, in part to increase understanding the multiple potential benefits of asteroid retrieval and in part to offset concerns that the technology is a "one-off," applicable to a single mission and not part of the NASA future. The asteroid retrieval mission concept is envisioned as a supporting step in the long-range human exploration program for missions beyond the Moon and eventually to Mars. Broader consideration of the technologies and opportunities inherent with asteroid retrieval would help put the first proposed asteroid retrieval mission in context as an essential step in expanding human presence beyond low Earth orbit.