On 4 January 2000 the Minister for Science, Lord Sainsbury, announced the setting up of a Task Force on Potentially Hazardous Near Earth Objects (NEOs).
The Task Force was invited to make proposals to the Government on how the United Kingdom should best contribute to international effort on Near Earth Objects; and to
- confirm the nature of the hazard and potential levels of risk;
- identify the current UK contribution to international efforts;
- advise the Government on what further action to take in the light of 1 and 2 above and on the communication of issues to the public; and to report to the Director General of the British National Space Centre (BNSC) by the middle of 2000.
The Task Force was chaired by Dr Harry Atkinson with Sir Crispin Tickell and Professor David Williams as members.
The British National Space Centre provided the Secretary, Richard Tremayne-Smith, and general support.The Task Force met on a number of occasions and presented its Report to the Director General of the British National Space Centre in August 2000.