NASA wants to launch an unmanned spacecraft in 2018 that would capture a small asteroid — maybe 7 to 10 yards wide — haul it closer to Earth, then send astronauts up to examine it, in 2021 or beyond.
But the space agency has encountered a stubborn technical problem: Congressional Republicans…[T]he science committee in the Republican-controlled House voted to bar NASA from pursuing that faraway rock. In a straight party vote — 22 Republicans for, 17 Democrats against — the committee laid out a road map for NASA for the next three years that brushed aside the asteroid capture plan, the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s agenda for space exploration.
The Republicans claim they’d rather prioritize a manned mission to Mars, but the asteroid mission would actually aid in that endeavor. Doy.
Anyway, it turns out The Onion kind of predicted this story a while back.