Taipei, March 15 (CNA) The launch of Taiwan's Formosat-5 satellite, which has been put back several times, will take place in the third quarter of this year, Science and Technology Minister Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said Wednesday.
Chen said the launch was likely to take place in the third quarter, while Formosat-7 is scheduled for launch at the end of the year.
"I am cautiously optimistic about the progress of the launch," Chen said after a ceremony to inaugurate the Office of Research Integrity at the ministry.
SpaceX, a U.S. company commissioned to launch Formosat-5, saw its Falcon 9 rocket and payload, the Amos-6 communications satellite, destroyed in an explosion last September, impacting the launch schedule of other satellites.
The 450-kg Formosat-5, which will carry a payload that includes an Optical Remote Sensing Instrument developed by Taiwan's National Applied Research Laboratories, was designed to replace Formosat-2.
Formosat-2, which conducted remote sensing imaging from May 2004, was decommissioned in mid-2016. Since Taiwan's space program was started in 1991, the nation has launched three satellites. Formosat-1 was decommissioned in 2004 and weather satellite Formosat-3 remains in orbit.
(By Huang Li-yun and Lilian Wu)