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Space Weather Bill Passes Congress

18 Sep 2020, 03:14 UTC
Space Weather Bill Passes Congress
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The Sun sends out a constant stream of particles and energy, which drives a complex space weather system near Earth and can affect spacecraft and astronauts. NASA has chosen five new mission concept studies for further development to study various aspects of this dynamic system. (Credits: NASA)

by Douglas MessierManaging Editor

A bill to reorganize the nation’s response to space weather has passed both house of Congress and heads to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature.

The Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow Act (PROSwift) assigns roles to federal departments and establishes an interagency working group to coordinate their activities.

Coronal mass ejections from the sun can disrupt satellites, ground communications, electrical grids, aviation, navigation and other vital services.

PROSwift assigns the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) with the task of developing and implementing a coordinated federal effort to observe, predict and respond to space weather events.

OSTP would work with agencies to develop an integrated strategy for sustaining and expanding Earth- and space-based measurements essential for space weather research, modeling and forecasting.

PROSwift would establish an interagency space weather working group with representatives from:

National Oceanic ...

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