Keeping America Safe — From a Million Miles Away
When it comes to keeping America’s communities and businesses safe and secure, we can’t take our eyes off the sun. That vigilance is ensured with last week’s successful launch of DSCOVR — the Deep Space Climate Observatory. DSCOVR will operate 24/7, alerting forecasters when large magnetic eruptions are headed toward Earth from the red-hot star at the center of our solar system.
The need for DSCOVR, a NOAA space weather observing satellite, is critical. From sporadic solar flares to electrically-charged blasts of gas exploding from the sun at up to 6,000,000 miles per hour, “space weather” has the potential to severely disrupt our lives and livelihoods. A range of technologies is threatened, from telecommunications and power grids to the countless GPS applications vital to our daily lives and national and local economies. In an increasingly wired world, space weather poses serious risk to essential, yet vulnerable infrastructure.
The scale of vulnerability is daunting. In 2013, a Lloyds of London study predicted that the most extreme space weather storms could affect 20 to 40 million people in the U.S. and cause up to $2.6 trillion in damages, with recovery taking up to two years. A 2013 US —> Read More Here