For information only - not an official document
2 March 2015
FUKUOKA/VIENNA 2 March (UN Information Service) - Around 150 scientists, from more than 30 countries gathered in Fukuoka, Japan, today to assess the status of space weather instruments (ground and space-based), data access, availability, and collection and modelling efforts to advance space weather research and to improve space weather forecasting.
Space weather, or the Sun's effects on near-Earth space, can cause disruptions and failures of communications satellites in geostationary orbit, or even severely damage ground-based infrastructures.
Opening the 2 to 6 March United Nations/Japan Workshop on Space Weather, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) Expert on Space Applications, Mr. Takao Doi, a former astronaut and veteran of two space flight missions, said; "Understanding and eventually being able to forecast space weather is not only of scientific interest, but also has economic value by helping to protect space and ground-based infrastructures such as satellites, electric power plants and oil pipelines that are susceptible to space weather effects".
The Workshop will also review international cooperation activities in addressing space weather-related matters such as possible further cooperation towards a global space-weather monitoring capability. This capability will also be necessary for future human exploration of Solar Systems, when astronauts travel beyond the protecting confines of the Earth's magnetic field.
Hosted by the International Centre for Space Weather Science and Education (ICSWSE) of Kyushu University on behalf of the Government of Japan, the Workshop is being held under the umbrella of the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI), a programme of international cooperation to advance space weather research and applications.
Further information is available on the Workshop webpage at http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/SAP/act2015/japan/index.html
The Workshop is part of a long series of conferences organized within the Basic Space Science Initiative (BSSI) under the United Nations Programme on Space Applications.
See more at http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/SAP/bss/index.html
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For more information please contact:
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-8718