updated 11/25/2008 11:55:29 AM ET 2008-11-25T16:55:29

Space experts are urging the United Nations to devise a plan that allows for quick action against asteroids.

Rusty Schweickart, a former U.S. astronaut, says such a plan would save the time needed to deflect asteroids or evacuate people living in a possible impact zone.

He says researchers will increasingly be able to predict collisions and that, for the first time in history, technical capabilities exist to prevent them.

Schweickart and other experts spoke to reporters Tuesday after presenting a report on the matter to U.N. officials in Vienna.

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