United States of America releases its Strategic Plan for the Space Weather

By: Clezio Marcos De Nardin

The National Space Weather Program (NSWP) is a Federal interagency initiative established in 1995 to improve the American capability to make timely and reliable predictions of significant disturbances in space weather and to provide this information in ways that are tailored to the specific needs of those who are potentially affected by them. It has also fostered an increased awareness of space weather within the stakeholder community as well as the general public. The NSWP organizations have established research and development facilities, promoted new observing capabilities, worked to transition successful research results into improved products and services, initiated forums to discuss and publicize the importance of space weather to society, helped prepare government and civil authorities to mitigate the impact of space weather, and helped build the training and education pipeline for new space weather professionals.

The term “space weather” refers to the variable conditions on the Sun, throughout space, and in the Earth’s magnetic field and upper atmosphere that can influence the performance of spaceborne and ground-based technological systems and endanger human life or health. Adverse conditions in the space environment can disrupt satellite operations, communications, navigation, and electric power distribution grids, leading to a variety of socioeconomic losses and impacts on our security. As our society becomes more technologically advanced, our vulnerability to space weather significantly increases.

The NSWP is guided by the vision of a future society better prepared for the effects of space weather and supported by an effective and efficient space weather enterprise. The Strategic Plan describes this vision, the mission of the NSWP, and the goals the program will pursue to achieve this vision.

Vision: A nation that capitalizes on advances in science and forecasting to better cope with the adverse impacts of space weather on human activity and on advanced technologies that underlie our global economy and national security.

Mission: The NSWP serves as the focal point for the Federal Government’s national space weather enterprise and partnerships. By providing an active, synergistic, interagency forum for collaboration, the NSWP facilitates mutually beneficial interactions among the Nation’s research and operational communities. The NSWP develops effective and efficient strategies and options to meet the various space weather challenges facing the Nation and works to advance basic scientific research and exploration, enhance reliable space environmental services, increase public awareness, and support national policy formulation.


  1. Discover and understand the physical conditions and processes that produce space weather and its effects.
  2. Develop and sustain necessary observational capabilities.

III. Provide tailored and accurate space weather information where and when it’s needed.

  1. Raise national awareness of the impacts of space weather.
  2. Foster communications among government, commercial, and academic organizations.

AFTER: Adapted from the USA National Space Weather Program available online at <http://www.nswp.gov/>

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