| || |
SUMMARY OF THE 8th MEETING OF THE SPACE MISSION PLANNING ADVISORY GROUP (SMPAG)
On the margins of the 54th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee
Vienna, 1 February 2017
The 8th meeting of the Space Mission Planning Advisory Group (SMPAG) took place on 1 February on the margins of the 54th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee. The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) served as the permanent secretariat to the meeting.
Agenda was adopted. The following agencies and institutions were represented at the meeting (AEM, ASI, Austrian Space Forum, CNES, CNSA, CSA, DLR, ESA, ESO, JAXA, KASI, NASA, POLSA, ROSA, UKSA, IAA, IAPS-INAF, FFG-Austrian research promotion agency, Politecnico de Milano, UNOOSA, Sultan Qaboos University, University of Vienna, University of Southampton, University of Strathclyde).
The Chair of SMPAG gave an update on the status of SMPAG. At present SMPAG has 16 official members, 4 official observers and an indication by 4 other entities to join SMPAG in the future. The Chair also informed the meeting that the SMPAG Ad Hoc Working Group on Legal Issues was official established in 2016 and will hold its first meeting on 2 February.
Rob Landis (NASA) gave an overview of the progress achieved during the 4th IAWN meeting that took place on 13 October 2016 ahead of the Division for Planetary Sciences and the European Planetary Science Congress in Pasadena, the United States. IAWN currently has 8 signatories to its Statement of Intent. IAWN provided an update on the known number and discovery rates of NEOs, as well as the discovery of 2016 HO3, an Earth companion/quasi-moon asteroid.
5) Overview of the PDC, 15-19 May 2017, Tokyo, Japan
6) Overview of the UNOOSA activities
7) Status of report on work plan items
Status reports were given on all on-going work plan items.
5.1 Criteria and thresholds for impact response actions (NASA)
5.2 Mitigation mission types and technologies to be considered (UKSA)
5.3 Mapping of threat scenarios to mission types (ESA)
5.4 Reference missions for different NEO threat scenarios (ASI)
5.5 A plan for action in case of a credible threat (NASA/IAA
5.6 Communication guidelines in case of a credible threat (NASA)
5.7 Roadmap for future work on planetary defense (DLR)
5.9 Criteria for deflection targeting (ROSA)
5.11 Toolbox for a characterisation payload (CNES)
Considerable progress was achieved on the work plan items 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7 and 5.9. Task leaders will update the respective status information in the work plan and share with the SMPAG secretariat and the Chair.
7.1 Specific issues related to work plan items
The following criteria and thresholds were agreed upon. Additional information on assumptions and uncertainties should be provided in the report by NASA. All three proposed criteria were accepted and should be included in the report under 5.1.
The leads on on-going work plan items should send the updates and progress reports to the SMPAG Chair and the SMPAG secretariat. The updated work plan will be put on the SMPAG website. The updated work plan will be reviewed in more detail at the next SMPAG meeting in 2017.
8) SMPAG Ad-Hoc Working Group on Legal Issues
Line Drube, DLR, made a presentation on the planned activities to be undertaken by the SMPAG Ad Hoc Working Group on legal issues, which SMPAG agreed to establish at its 6th meeting in February 2016. The SMPAG Chair gave an overview of the procedure used to establish the Ad Hoc Working Group.
Objectives of the first meeting of the SMPAG Ad Hoc Working Group on legal issues include drafting the Terms of Reference as well as identifying and agreeing on the scope of questions and plan of work.
It was suggested that the SMPAG Ad Hoc Working Group should study the SMPAG Work plan and address the possible legal questions stemming from it. Regarding the output of the Ad Hoc SMPAG Working Group, it was proposed that the Working Group produces, as a first step, a white paper, also capturing the existing gaps that exist in this area.
Regarding the questions examined by the Ad Hoc Working Group, it was suggested that the issues pertaining to the use of the nuclear option for deflection or disruption, should only be addressed as a second step, in order to allow the Ad Hoc Working Group to proceed with its work on other issues constructively. It was agreed that the Ad Hoc Working Group should undertake a pragmatic approach, starting with an initial scope of questions to be addressed, which will initially be expanded, depending on future issues.
10) Next SMPAG meeting
A proposal was made to take into account budget limitations and plan for a dedicated 3-day meeting, including technical experts to be able to discuss work plan issues in-depth, or combine the meeting with major conferences, such as PDC, IAC. After some discussion, it was agreed that the next meeting will take place from 10-12 October 2017, possibly on the East Coast, United States or in Europe.
11) Other matters