Dr. Ezinne Uzo-Okoro, OSTP Assistant Director for Space Policy
Extreme space weather is when the sun expels plasma and magnetic fields, which can affect us here on Earth. Space weather can disrupt or disable electric power, communications, water supply, health care, satellite operations, and transportation. To protect astronauts in space and lives and technologies on Earth, observing and forecasting space weather is key. The Biden-Harris Administration has worked to ensure that the United States can better forecast and prepare for space weather events.
The next solar maximum is expected to occur over the next two years. The upswing in space weather has the potential to pose significant risk, on Earth and in space. To aid our preparations, OSTP is releasing an Implementation Plan of the National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan to build our resilience to space weather storms. Specifically, the plan identifies three policy objectives and supporting activities in space weather observations, research, and forecasting:
- Enhance the protection of national security, homeland security, and commercial assets and operations against the effects of space weather.
- Develop and disseminate accurate and timely information of space weather characterization and forecasts.
- Establish plans and procedures for responding to and recovering from space weather events.
The plan also calls for the United States to bolster activities in support of global space traffic coordination and national security interests. There are still opportunities ahead. The United States is committed to improving national preparedness for space weather events. With coordination across the federal government, the Space Weather Advisory Group, academia, the private sector, and international partners, these high-level actions will help to achieve a space-weather-ready nation.