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PROSWIFT Space Weather Bill Signed into Law

23 Oct 2020, 17:55 UTC
PROSWIFT Space Weather Bill Signed into Law
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Space weather effects. (Credit: ESA/Science Office)

by Douglas MessierManaging Editor

President Donald Trump has signed a bill to reorganize and strengthen the nation’s monitoring of and response to space weather, albeit with some reservations about its impact on foreign policy and national security.

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 critical infrastructure. A massive geomagnetic storm shorted out telegram systems in 1859 in what is known as the Carrington Event. A similar event today could be devastating to the global economy.

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 will 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 establishes an interagency space weather working group with representatives from:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)NASADepartment of Defense (DoD)National Science ...

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