International Efforts Advance For Asteroid Mitigation

International Efforts Advance For Asteroid Mitigation

An international group of experts on the threat posed by Near Earth Objects (NEOs) met in Pasadena, CA last week to advance work on creating a Mission Planning and Operations Group (MPOG) to enable space agencies to respond if a NEO is on a collision course with Earth.

The Secure World Foundation and the Association of Space Explorers organized the meeting in conjunction with the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). It is part of a series of meetings to create an international framework for dealing with the threat to Earth from asteroids and comets, collectively known as NEOs.

The August 25-26 meeting was attended by members of COPUOS’s Action Team (AT) 14 and representatives of NASA and three non-U.S. agencies: Germany’s DLR, Canada’s CSA, and France’s CNRS.

The series of meetings is aimed at producing by February 2013 a set of recommendations on which COPUOS can act. Secure World Foundation Executive Director Ray Williamson said that the most recent workshop “made substantial progress” toward an interagency plan and an international governance model to deal with the NEO threat.

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