ESA presents NEO mission studies at UN COPUOS
The global dimensions of the NEO hazard and the level of awareness of this risk from a large fraction of the general public make this a subject that is especially suitable for international cooperation. ESA's presentation at the 2005 meeting of the United Nations Committee for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) Scientific and Technical Subcommittee was a natural milestone in the Agency's efforts towards the establishment of a cooperation agreement on this field.
The importance of developing a common international asteroid mitigation strategy is now more apparent than ever, especially in view of the impact and scale of another unexpected, low-frequency natural disaster, the tsunami in the Indian ocean. Another event that took place almost simultaneously, the discovery of 99942 Apophis (a particularly alarming Potentially Hazardous Object that will have several close encounters with our planet in the coming decades) has triggered numerous discussions and calls for action at international level.