Report by the ASE-NEO Committee
At the invitation of NEO Committee member and Costa Rican astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz and Jose Zaglul, President of Earth University, the Committee held its 3rd international workshop on NEOs at the Earth University in Guacimo from 22-25 April, 2008.
The workshop was attended by 12 of the 19 Panel members and four ASE NEO Committee members. We were also joined by several of the Panel members’ spouses, as well as two members of our new Secretariat who helped coordinate and record the meeting.
In preparation for the workshop the Committee had prepared the first draft of our complete report and distributed it for review and comment to the Panel. The Panel put in three solid and animated days of discussion and debate, concluding with agreement on how to move forward to our final document and recommendations.
The meeting was highly successful and puts us well on the way to completion of our work at the 4th and final workshop in San Francisco. This final workshop, scheduled for 22-25 September 2008, will culminate in the transmission of our proposed United Nations Program to the UN NEO Action Team and a public press conference to announce the results of our two years of work.
The Program, Asteroid Threats: A Call for Global Response, will be formally introduced into the UN’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) by Action Team-14 (NEO), of which the ASE is a formal member, in the spring 2009 session in Vienna, Austria.
In preparation for the discussion and debate within the United Nations, the ASE NEO Committee will conduct a series of formal briefings to key individuals and nations throughout the fall and spring of 2008-2009. Included in this series of briefings will be the UN Secretary General, the President of the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council, and various National Academies of Science, national space agencies, and Foreign Ministries.The next 12 months will be an extremely active period for the ASE-NEO Committee; we appreciate the continued support of the entire ASE membership as we enter the final lap in our extended program to bring the nations of the world together to protect life on Earth from NEO impacts.