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SUMMARY OF THE 4th MEETING OF THE SPACE MISSION PLANNING ADVISORY GROUP, 9-10 APRIL 2015
The third meeting of the Space Mission Planning Advisory Group (SMPAG) took place at ESA/ESRIN in Frascati, Italy. The meeting took place two months after the first SMPAG Steering Committee meeting.
Participants were delegates from Austria, Belgium, the European Space Agency, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Romania, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, an observer from the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) was present. The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) supported the meeting.
The meeting discussed options regarding the application for observer status with the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, following discussions with UNOOSA. It was decided that the SMPAG Secretariat will research the legal issues associated with permanent observer status for an International Governmental Organization. In the interim, the decision was taken to apply for ad hoc temporary observer status for upcoming Committee sessions.
The representative of the Israel Space Agency presented some ideas on public impact warning networks and deflection. NASA presented viewgraphs on some first thoughts on credible impact threat criteria. DLR and JAXA also gave brief updates on their work items.
It was agreed to have a glossary defining terminology, as an appendix to the Work Plan. This could be based on the terminology described in the ASE document 'Asteroid threats - a call for global response (2008)'.
The main focus of this meeting was the discussion of the Work Plan. All task leaders presented the status of their work items and the document was restructured. The first reference version of the Work Plan should be available by the end of 2015. It was agreed to have semi-annual reports on ongoing tasks, provided by the task leaders.
A statement endorsing deflection missions was discussed. However, it was agreed that more dialogue is needed before it could be released.
The next SMPAG Steering Committee meeting is planned to be held on the margins of the meeting of the AAS Division of Planetary Sciences in National Harbor, Maryland, USA, 08-13 November 2015. Task leaders should participate.