Methods, Means and Governance of NEO Observation

  • Peter VerešEmail author
  • Nikola Schmidt
Part of the Space and Society book series (SPSO)


This chapter summarizes the basics of asteroid observations and characterization, and involvement of sponsoring government agencies and other stakeholders in Solar System surveys. We discuss ground-based and space assets, and the roles of the public and private sectors. The discovery of potentially hazardous asteroids and the topic of impact mitigation attract public and media attention and motivate discussions between policymakers and stakeholders. We demonstrate that the current support and research related to NEO search is strongly biased toward NASA and the United States, lacking wider participation from other agencies and countries. Even though international collaboration in gathering and distributing observing data and orbits is freely governed by the MPC under the IAU mandate, and informal collaboration was established by IAWN under UN COPUOS, apart from policies and rules created by NASA and US federal and state authorities, other countries generally do not invest funds in or possess an interest in searching for Solar System objects, or impact mitigation.


NEO stakeholders Observation methods International involvement 



This study was supported by the grant awarded by the Technological Agency of the Czech Republic, project TL01000181: “A multidisciplinary analysis of planetary defense from asteroids as the key national policy ensuring further flourishing and prosperity of humankind both on Earth and in Space,” and co-funded by the Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for AstrophysicsCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political Science, Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social SciencesCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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