In the 20th century, interest in effects of space weather on human activity grew out of the space program. Military and commercial ventures came to depend on satellites until solar events interfered with operation to a great extent.
The term space weather became popular in the 1950s and evolved into common usage by the 1990s. Here's why:
- Communications satellites grew fast to keep up with high growth internet and global ecommerce.
- Weather satellite and mapping systems also developed quickly to provide information about terrestrial weather.
- Signals from Global Positioning System (GPS) were designed for a wide variety of applications including how Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) affect satellite operation.
- Space weather radiation can cause damaging surges in long distance transmission lines and expose passengers and crew of aircraft travel to radiation.
- Financial and security benefits of satellite communications like cell phone, emergency response, online banking, credit cards, weather and GPS satellite technology to name a few, have grown to become essential services.
- Political, military and commercial space satellite and related technology is vulnerable to Carrington Event size geomagnetic storms.
- Carrington events have the potential to disable enough essential satellite services to ask the question- What's your plan to survive while essential services get repaired?
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