HMM. IT’S ALWAYS “POLITICS” WHEN REPUBLICANS DO SOMETHING: Plan to Capture an Asteroid Runs Into Politics. The piece spends more time calling Republicans obstructionist than explaining what they’re doing. But there’s this:

Republicans on the House science committee complained this month that the proposal came “out of the blue,” lacking much explanation from NASA officials, support from scientists or cost analysis. Some Democrats on the committee were also skeptical, but most were willing to hear NASA out.

“I was never very excited about it,” said Representative Donna F. Edwards of Maryland, a Democrat on the committee. However, she was much more critical of the Republican alternative that passed.

There’s also this hint about why Republicans may not see the asteroid mission as a NASA priority: “Separately, at least two private companies have announced intentions to mine asteroids for rare metals, arguing that supplies on Earth are dwindling.”

I personally favor the Obama-proposed asteroid mission over the — unlikely to happen — Moon/Mars base plan. But this NYT story doesn’t tell you much about what’s really going on here.