• Objectives
  • NEO Committee
  • PATM
  • Implementation
  • Updates
  • Timeline
  • NEO Information
  • Contributors
  • Media

The ASE formed its Committee on NEOs at its Congress in Salt Lake City in October 2005 and charged it with bringing to the attention of world leaders and key international institutions the threat of asteroid impacts to life on Earth. In an Open Letter of October 14, 2005, the ASE said, in part:

“Due to advances in both the discovery of these objects and in space technology we are aware of the unique fact that these infrequent cosmic collisions are, using advanced space technology, both predictable and preventable. This distinctive and providential characteristic of NEO impacts allows the prevention of these largest of natural disasters, if, and only if, national governments and relevant international institutions understand these inevitable events and act together to prevent their occurrence.”

Committing itself to support the world community in addressing this challenge, the ASE NEO Committee formed an international expert Panel on Asteroid Threat Mitigation and, in a series of four workshops developed a program and set of recommendations to help the international community in making timely decisions regarding the impact threat.

Members of the ASE Committee on Near Earth Objects

Tom Jones (USA) – Chair
Sergei Avdeev (Russia)
Franklin Chang-Diaz (USA/Costa Rica)
Pedro Duque (Spain)
Chris Hadfield (Canada)
Edward Lu (USA)
Dumitru Prunariu (Romania)
Viktor Savinykh (Russia)
Gerhard Thiele (Germany)

ASE Panel on Asteroid Threat Mitigation

Russell Schweickart, Chair*
Adigun Ade Abiodun
Vallampadugai Arunachalam
Sergei Avdeev*
Roger-Maurice Bonnet
Sergio Camacho-Lara
Franklin Chang-Diaz*
James George
Tomifumi Godai
Chris Hadfield*
Peter Jankowitsch
Thomas Jones*
Sergey Kapitza
Paul Kovacs
Walther Lichem
Edward Lu*
Gordon McBean
Dorin Prunariu*
Martin Rees
Karlene Roberts
Viktor Savinykh*
Michael Simpson
Crispin Tickell
Frans von der Dunk
Richard Tremayne-Smith
James Zimmerman

*Association of Space Explorers Near-Earth Object Committee


In 2009, after three years of preparation and four international workshops, the NEO Committee formally submitted their report and recommendations: Asteroid Threats: A Call for Global Response. The report was introduced in the 2009 session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN/COPUOS) in Vienna, Austria.



The NEO Committee continues its work toward implementation of the recommendations by sponsoring a series of implementation workshops for each of the diagrammed functional elements.  In January 2010, the NEO Committee co-sponsored a workshop in Mexico City to work on the implementation issues for the IAWN (Information, Analysis, and Warning Network).  In October 2010, a workshop was held in Darmstadt, Germany, to bring together representatives from the space faring nations of the world to look at implementation of the MPOG (Mission Planning and Operations Group).  This workshop was the first time the space faring nations have come together to face the reality of dealing in a coordinated way with deflecting a NEO threatening an Earth impact.

Executive Summmary of the IAWN workshop

Executive Summary of the MPOG Workshop

May 2011: Ad Astra "Steps for Planetary Defense", Tom Jones

24 May 2011: Planetary Defense briefing to NASA/SOMD

15 February 2011: ASE Statement to COPUOS/STSC | Presentation

13 February 2012 Status Update:

The ASE NEO Committee has just presented to Action Team-14 (NEO) of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), the analysis it has recently conducted regarding near-Earth asteroid 2011 AG5.  The report was based on an ASE rough analysis which looked at the potential deflection challenge posed by AG5 which has a low but substantial probability of impacting Earth in 2040.  ASE examined the timelines associated with potential deflection options available if, in the improbable event that after additional tracking in September 2013, the asteroid presents an increased impact probability.  The ASE’s rough analysis was sent to NASA and ESA (subsequently referred to the NEOShield project) for professional engineering review and analysis.  The ASE’s report to AT-14 summarized its analysis and the responses of NASA and the NEOShield engineering partners, Surrey Space Center, Astrium, and Deimos.

ASE Report to AT-14: Discussion on Asteroid 2011 AG5

Reference Materials (slide 25):

ASE Transmittal & Analysis

NASA Response

NEOShield/Surrey Space Center Analysis

NEOShield/Astrium Analysis

NEOShield/Deimos Analysis


3 October: Decision Program on Asteroid Threat Mitigation (presentation to IAC)

25 September: Excerpt: Asteroid Threats: A Call for Global Response

22 – 25 September: Workshop IV (San Francisco, CA)

13 – 20 July: The Asteroid Impact Threat: Decisions Upcoming (Presentation to 37th COSPAR)

23 – 26 April: Workshop III (Guanacaste, Costa Rica)

27 February: NEO Status Report

18 February: NEO Presentation to the United Nations


12 – 15 September: Workshop II (Sibiu, Romania)

9 – 12 May: Workshop I (Strasbourg, France)

23 March: Status Report

5 – 9 March: The NEO Threat: International Policy Issues (AIAA Planetary Defense Conference)

21 February: NEO Committee Report to COPUOS


17 November: Status Report

6 August: First NEO Workshop Announcement

31 May: Status Report

20 February – 3 March: ASE Intervention at the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of COPUOS

20 February: Report to the Royal Aeronautical Society & CCLRC


30 November: ASE NEO Committee letter to Action Team-14

14 October: ASE Issues NEO Open Letter to the international community, forms international committee on Near Earth Objects

The NEO Committee is supported by public contributions and through grants from the following organizations:

The Mitchell Kapor Foundation
Kauffman Family Fund
Ploughshares Fund

The Committee also works with the Secure World Foundation on this project.




About Us


ASE Members


Planetary Congress



Boards & Committees




Corporate Members