International cooperation is required to meet threats posed by objects in space headed for Earth, a United Nations agency said on Feb. 20.
The statement was issued in response to meteors falling on Russia.
"If the proposed coordination mechanism was in place, then at minimum it would have allowed for more observation and better understanding and education of the population on what to expect rather than having a surprise effect with people not knowing what was happening,” the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs said.
U.N. leaders want to launch the International Asteroid Warning Network to "pool together the expertise of the world’s many existing scientific agencies and organizations to discover and track objects and generate early warnings of potential impacts."
While some threats from outer space are natural, the UN tracks a variety of objects launched into orbit by nations throughout the world.
The Registration of Objects program, as an example, includes details on United States activity in the heavens filed with the U.N. from 1962 to the present.
The first entry in the database for the United States consists of a letter from Adlai Stevenson, President John F. Kennedy’s ambassador to the U.N., detailing 72 space launches by the U.S. from 1958 to 1962.