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30 June 2017 Asteroid Day. The Romanian Space Agency, partner of the project

on 14 February 2017

14 February 2017, the city of Luxembourg today hosted international leaders to launch Asteroid Day 2017, a UN sanctioned global day, organised with the purpose to raise awareness about asteroids and in particular how we protect Earth from dangerous impacts. Marius-Ioan Piso, President of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), participated at the event, announcing the fact that ROSA joined the project as a partner and talked about Romania's involvement in global efforts for planetary defence. 

The press conference was broadcast live from Luxembourg, with the participation of experts in planetary science, business and government representatives joining from Berlin, Bucharest, Silicon Valley, and London with the help of Cisco TelePresence Centers and the live stream by vBrick Rev.

Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy of Luxembourg, talked about the country’s intention to contribute to the peaceful exploration and sustainable utilisation of resources from celestial bodies. For this vision to become a reality, we have to increase our knowledge and understanding of asteroids. Mr. Schneider announced that Luxembourg will be hosting a 24-hour live broadcast of global Asteroid Day activities on 30 June.

Romanian cosmonaut, Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu, who was instrumental in realising the UN Declaration with the UN COPUOS and the support of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), explained the crucial role of continued international collaboration: “Planetary defense is well within our capability in the near future. However, reaching our goals will require continued and strong collaboration among government institutions, academic institutions and private organisations to realise both terrestrial and space-based assets. This is why Asteroid Day is so valuable.

The President of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), Marius-Ioan Piso, declared that "Romania is very interested in planetary defence, especially with regards to Near Earth Objects. Our efforts are concentrated within ESA in space missions such as Proba-3, the AIDA mission and the AIM mission". Mr. Piso also mentioned the development of a radar that can detect objects, 1cm in size, from a distance of 500 km.

Representing the European Space Agency (ESA), Franco Ongaro, Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality, and Head of ESTEC Establishment spoke about the importance of Asteroid Day for ESA: “The European Space Agency is fully engaged in the protection of our planet with the detection of asteroids through our Space Situational Awareness program and supporting the test of asteroid deflection with the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) Mission in cooperation with NASA and the Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM)."

Asteroid Day 2017

Grig Richters and Danica Remy, co-founders of Asteroid Day, noted that during Asteroid Day 2016 more than 500 asteroid-related educational events were held in 72 countries, involving more than 150 000 participants and reaching over 1.3 million people through live online activities. “This year, we welcome 97 regional coordinators to date and anticipate more than 700 educational events for 30 June” stated Remy, thanking also the more than 30 partners that support Asteroid Day 2017.

2017 activities will be listed on the Asteroid Day website

About Asteroid Day

Asteroid Day is a UN sanctioned global day, organised with the purpose to raise awareness about asteroids and in particular how we protect Earth from dangerous impacts. Asteroid Day was co-founded in 2014, by Dr. Brian May, astrophysicist and lead guitarist for the rock band Queen, Danica Remy, B612 Chief Operations Officer, Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart, and German filmmaker Grig Richters.

Asteroid Day is held on 30 June each year to mark Earth’s largest asteroid impact in recorded history, the Siberia Tunguska event, which devastated over 2000 square km, the size of any major metropolitan city.

A video taping of the press conference and additional resources for media, including photos and video, and bios of speakers, are available here.

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Image credit: ROSA