Congress passes space weather research bill benefitting Marshall Space Flight Center
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday gave final passage to S. 881, the “Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow Act” (the PROSWIFT Act).
The House acted by voice vote on the bipartisan legislation, which previously passed the Senate in July.
Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) has been a major supporter of the bill and teamed with Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) to pass H.R. 5260, a companion bill identical to S. 881, through the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in January.
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. The PROSWIFT Act 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.
Brooks spoke in favor of S. 881 on the House floor during debate.
“Alabama’s Marshall Space Flight Center scientists and engineers are at the forefront of space weather research,” the congressman advised.
He also said that better understanding space weather will be important to the longterm success of the Artemis Program, which is powered by Marshall Space Flight Center and private sector partners in North Alabama.
Text of Congressman Brooks’ remarks as follows:
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
I support the Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow Act—called the PROSWIFT Act.
I thank Congressman Perlmutter for his leadership on this important issue and for working with me in the Science, Space, and Technology Committee to advance this Senate bill which is identical to the House version we have work so long and hard on.
The PROSWIFT Act advances America’s understanding of potentially severe weather events and damaging consequences.
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.
Humanity needs better understanding of these solar winds and their interaction with Earth’s atmosphere.
The PROSWIFT Act is a step towards that better understanding.
Alabama’s Marshall Space Flight Center scientists and engineers are at the forefront of space weather research.
Under the PROSWIFT Act, their enhanced research will advance our understanding of, and ability to forecast, space weather.
The PROSWIFT Act recognizes that space weather not only impacts us on Earth, it can and will impact us in deep space exploration.
For example, before we launch NASA’s Artemis manned Moon missions that pave the way to Mars missions, it is best and we should better understand how space weather phenomena impacts life in space, satellites, and other space instrumentation.
It is critical that we 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 S. 881 and send it to President Trump to sign.
Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
S. 881 is on President Donald Trump’s desk awaiting his signature.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn