Summary of the 2nd meeting of the Space Missions Planning Advisory Group, 12-13 Jun 2014

The second meeting of the Space Missions Planning Advisory Group (SMPAG) took place in the United Nations Office Vienna, Austria, at the Vienna International Centre, room C-5, on 12-13 June 2014, supported by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, on the margins of the 57th session of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).

Participants were delegates from Austria, Canada, China, the European Space Agency, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Oman, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, representatives of the Association of Space Explorers, the Secure World Foundation, and the Action Team on Near-Earth Objects (AT-14) observed.

The meeting finalized the SMPAG Terms of Reference and agreed on a version now considered final pending confirmation by legal experts in the Member organizations.

Presentations on current activities related to planetary defense were given by CNES, DLR, ESA, JAXA, UK Space Agency and NASA.

Letters confirming participation in SMPAG and nominating delegation members and the designated head of delegation were received by the Chair. However, not all expected letters have been received as of the present meeting. Therefore, the delegates agreed not to have a formal Steering Committee meeting during this session. It was agreed that those delegations that have stated their intent to join but have not yet done so are to be marked as "confirmation pending".

ESA was formally and unanimously elected as chair for the next two years.

The decision was made to accept observers to the full meetings from appropriate organizations. Observers must request this status with the chair before each meeting. The Steering Committee can also invite observers. Observers should have expertise in fields relevant to the topic of planetary defense.

The need for transparency and open communication was emphasized.

A draft task list has been identified, from which a work plan document will be produced. It was agreed to assign task leads who will coordinate the task activities and the production of a report.  Some members have already volunteered to be task leads.

A teleconference of the Steering Committee will be scheduled for October 2014 .

The next Steering Committee meeting will take place on the margins of the Scientific and Technical Sub-committee of COPUOS in February 2015 before the meeting of the AT-14.

The next full SMPAG meeting will take place 09-10 April 2015 in Frascati, Italy, just preceding the Planetary Defense Conference (PDC) 2015.


For more information, including the presentations given during the meeting, see the webpage at