By KENNETH CHANG -
It is known, informally, as the asteroid-lasso plan: 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.
Normally, there is bipartisan support (or disapproval) in Congress for NASA’s bolder plans, particularly when they involve human spaceflight.
READ MORE ON NEW YORK TIMES | SPACE & COSMOS