A road map for creating a NEO research program in developing countries

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In the last six years, COSPAR has organized consecutively three NEOs-related meetings in its General Assemblies. The main purpose was to focus the attention of the scientific community to the potential impact hazards of NEOs to the global society. If we look back at the presentation materials in these meetings, they could be collected into several categories mirroring the responses on this critical issue. They are: (1) awareness of the threat; (2) analysis of the threat; (3) mitigation of the threat; and (4) utilization of the threat. The last item came about at the end of the NEOs session in COSPAR's General Assembly in Paris on July 21, 2004. As a final round up of the meeting, several young scientists and PhD students were invited to a panel discussion on the study of NEOs in year 2030. Not surprisingly, the younger the researchers the more optimistic were their opinions. Instead of the roaming catastrophe brought about by an asteroidal or cometary impact, these young researchers were considering topics such as mining of the asteroids and how to build large-scale structures in space to accommodate such an enterprise. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned here. As we have heard from a Chinese saying that crisis could also mean opportunity, it might be of interest to assess what are the benefits (instead of gloomy images) to be derived from the present discussions in this volume.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComet/Asteroid Impacts and Human Society
Subtitle of host publicationAn Interdisciplinary Approach
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)3540327096, 9783540327097
StatePublished - 2007


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