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Bipartisan Space Weather Research Bill Beneficial to Marshall Space Flight Center Passes House Science Committee

January 9, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC— Thursday, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee passed by voice vote H.R. 5260, the Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow Act (the PROSWIFT Act). Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) teamed with Democrat sponsor Congressman Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) to pass the PROSWIFT Act which seeks to enhance America’s scientific understanding of the potential consequences of severe space weather phenomena and establishes a forecasting regime for severe space weather events.

By way of background, though little understood, space weather is a collection of physical processes, beginning at the Sun with solar winds and ultimately affecting human activities on Earth and in Space.

Notably, Congressman Brooks ranks #2 out of 15 Republican members on the Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Click on the image above or HERE for video

of Congressman Brooks’ committee remarks

 

Text of Congressman Brooks’ remarks:

Thank you, Madam Chair, for bringing this bill up for markup today. The Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow Act—called the PROSWIFT Act—will advance America’s understanding of the potential consequences of severe space weather events that have proven in the past to be far-reaching and potentially damaging.

By way of background, and as has already been outlined today, space weather is a collection of physical processes beginning at the Sun with solar winds and ultimately affecting human activities on Earth and in Space.

These solar winds and their interaction with Earth’s atmosphere are not understood as well as they should be. This bill is a step towards a better understanding.

At Alabama’s Marshall Space Flight Center, scientists and engineers have been at the forefront of this vital research. Under the PROSWIFT Act, their research will be enhanced to advance our nation’s understanding and ability to forecast space weather.

Because Mr. Perlmutter and I are both passionate advocates for deep space exploration, I emphasize the relationship between space weather observation and forecasting and deep space exploration.

The PROSWIFT Act makes it clear that not only can space weather impact us on the terrestrial frontier, but it can and will impact us in the final frontier of deep space exploration.

In order to achieve the goals set for NASA’s Artemis program and before we launch a manned mission to Mars we must better understand how space weather phenomena impacts life in space, satellites, and other space instrumentation.

It is critical that we have the ability to properly forecast space weather and prepare for and protect astronauts from the dangers of solar radiation.

I want to thank my colleague, Mr. Perlmutter, for his leadership on space weather and his partnership on the PROSWIFT Act. I encourage my colleagues to vote for this bill.

 

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