A manned mission to an asteroid is one of the long term goals of astronautics. The near-Earth asteroids are the target of such a mission, due to their proximity to the Earth.
A manned mission to an asteroid would be a new step in the history of spaceflight, by sending astronauts beyond the moon's orbit, in a range of 4.8 million kilometers from Earth.
President Barack Obama announced 15 April 2010 that the project of a manned mission to an asteroid became a new goal for 2025. This statement was announced after his proposal of cancellation of the Constellation program in February 2010, whose main objective was the return of the man on the moon. Obama added that deep space mission could serve as a springboard for a manned mission to Mars in the mid-2030s.