FormoSat-5 launch takes Taiwan to 'new era': official

2017/08/25 03:45:03
FormoSat-5 launch takes Taiwan to 'new era': official

Los Angeles, Aug. 24 (CNA) The successful launch of FormoSat-5 is not just the beginning of a new space mission for Taiwan, it also shows that "Taiwan has marched into a new era of indigenous space technology," a Taiwan official said Thursday.

Speaking at a party celebrating the successful launch of Taiwan's first self-made mini-satellite, Deputy Science and Technology Minister Su Fong-chin (蘇芳慶) said that success does not come easy in space, "it takes careful planning, execution, and more importantly dedicated team effort."

That effort has come from Taiwan's NSPO (National Space Organization) FormoSat-5 satellite team and the United States' SpaceX Falcon-9 launch team, to both of whom Su extended his congratulations and appreciation.

The Taiwanese official also took the opportunity to express his country's appreciation to the United States for its "long-term collaboration and partnership on many space programs over the past decades."

Attending the party were James Moriarty, chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT); Stanley Kao (高碩泰), Taiwan's representative to the U.S. and Yang Hung-duen (楊弘敦), chairman of NARLabs, among others. National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) is made up of 10 institutes including NSPO.

FormoSat-5 is the first satellite program in which Taiwan's NSPO was fully responsible for systems integration. The mission objectives are to build up and demonstrate Taiwan's indigenous space technology in the field of remote sensing satellites, to continue to serve the global imagery users previously served by FormoSat-2, which it replaces, and to promote domestic space science research.

In addition to the payloads, NSPO has also been responsible for the development of FormoSat-5's key spacecraft components, ground control systems and image processing systems. FormoSat-5 is now on a five-year observation mission around the globe.

The satellite's global coverage capability, smart agility feature and pioneering use of CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) sensors for a commercial optical earth observation satellite are expected to provide the geoscience community with even broader research applications, according to NSPO.

(By Tsao Yu-fan and S.C. Chang)
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