1. Measure It A slew of laser radar sensors measures the dimensions of the asteroid. A spacecraft then deploys its high-strength capture bag to the appropriate size. Inflatable arms and cinching cables unfurl to enclose the asteroid.
2. Bag It The spacecraft bags the rock. The finish on the bag’s exterior ensures that the asteroid doesn’t heat up and lose water.
3. Bring it Home The craft makes the long trip back to lunar orbit. The return trip could take six years; mining commences on arrival.
Read more: “One Asteroid to Go, Please” Popular Mechanics: