U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson spoke to Florida A&M University students Monday about his experience in space. He also promoted taking STEM subjects. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

A $100 million line item in President Barack Obama’s proposed federal budget for next fiscal year could jump start a space project made all the more urgent by two close asteroid encounters from earlier in the year.

NASA plans to start work on a mission that will send astronauts to an asteroid in the next eight years.  Scientists say the program is the next step toward humans colonizing space. Call it “manifest galaxy.”

“The plan calls for a robotic spacecraft to capture an asteroid and tow it to a stable orbit around the moon,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).