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Romania's participation at the third edition of The Planetary Defense Conference

on 14 April 2013

The President of the Romanian Space Agency, Marius Ioan Piso and the first Romanian astronaut, Dumitru Dorin Prunariu, are participating at the third edition of the Planetary Defense Conference in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The President of ROSA is attending the event as the main organizer of the previous edition of the conference held in Bucharest, while Dumitru Prunariu as former Chairman of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOUS).

During the third edition of the conference various topics will be addressed, such as planetary defense — progress and future planning, the discovery of Near Earth Objects (NEOs), NEO characterization, deflection methods etc.

Due to the efforts of ROSA, Romania stands out as an active member in the field of planetary defense. When UN-COPUOUS was established in 1959 at the UN General Assembly, Romania was among the 65 founding members. The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space has the mandate to review international cooperation on peaceful uses of outer space, endorse programs in the field with the view to include them under UN guidance, encourage research and dissemination of information on extra-atmospheric topics, as well as analyze legal issues rezulting from exploring outer space. Between June 2010 and June 2012, Romania had the presidency of the committee through Dumitru Prunariu.

Romania is an active member in the Near Earth Objects Working Group, established in 2007 by the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN-COPUOUS in order to propose international procedures to address potential threats posed by these objects.

Protection against NEOs is an important goal of space programs. In this respect, Romania participates in the SSA programme (Space Situational Awareness) of the European Space Agency (ESA), where, in addition to mathematical modeling and observations, it will built instruments and components for satellites dedicated to monitoring and identifying dangerous objects.

In early March 2013, ROSA organized an "Industry Day", when ESA representatives had the opportunity to present the SSA Programme to the Romanian industrial and scientific community. The event was followed by an analysis conducted by ROSA to identify relevant organizations in Romania with potential and interest to be involved in the SSA Programme. More information about the SSA Community in Romania can be found here.