This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

09 February 2007

United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs: Recent NEO News and Report on Worldwide NEO Research

"The newly established space-system-based disaster management programme, a safety framework for nuclear power sources in outer space, mitigation guidelines for space debris and International Heliophysical Year 2007 will be the key agenda items at the 44th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), which will take place in Vienna, Austria, from 12 to 23 February [2007]."

Also under a multi-year work plan, the Subcommittee will continue to consider the topic of near-Earth objects (NEOs), which include celestial bodies such as asteroids and meteors that may cross the Earth’s orbit. The Subcommittee will consider reports from Member States and international organizations on their near-Earth object activities, including space missions, search for NEOs and their tracking, as well as plans for future activity."

I would expect Rusty Schweickart to be at this upcoming meeting representing the NEO community. Also, the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) has a report on NEO research from multiple countries (Germany, Japan, Latvia, Poland, & United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland where those countries that responded). This report is obviously not complete but has some interesting snapshot of work in 2005 and 2006 on NEOs (mostly from Europe).

Link: Press Release from SpaceRef (
08 February 9, 2007)

Link: National Research in the field of Near-Earth Objects (
24 January 2007), A/AC.105/863/Add.2 (available in all official languages of the United Nations)

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