reliable predictive capability for when and in what direction major disturbances will be emitted by the Sun; or for how disturbances from the Sun, coupled with inputs from Earth, affect the space environment near Earth; or for what the radiation environment through which astronauts might fly will be; or for exactly how changes on the Sun may affect Earth’s climate, atmosphere, and ionosphere.

Despite these challenges, prediction of the space environment is, in principle, a decipherable problem. New ground- and space-based measurements are adding considerable knowledge to enhance understanding of the space environment and its governing processes. In parallel, increasingly sophisticated comprehensive physical models are being developed that run on ever more powerful computers. Given an adequate investment of effort in fundamental scientific research and modeling, the research community should be able to leverage advances in computing capability to develop the predictive models required to specify the extended space environment in order to protect society and advance growing aspirations for the use of space.



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