National Space Organization
April 1, 2005 (renamed)
|Headquarters||Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu, Taiwan|
|Primary spaceport||Jiu Peng Air Base, Pingtung|
|Administrator||Dr. Guey-Shin Chang (Director General)|
|National Space Organization|
The National Space Organization (NSPO, formerly known as the National Space Program Office) is the civilian space agency of Taiwan under the auspices of the Executive Yuan's National Science Council. NSPO is involved in the development of space exploration, satellite construction and development as well as related technologies and infrastructure (including the FORMOSAT series of Earth observation satellites) and related research in aerospace engineering, remote sensing, astrophysics, atmospheric science, information science, space weapons and defense of national security in the Republic of China.
Sounding rocket program
|SR-I||December 15, 1998||None||Successful first test flight.|
|SR-II||October 24, 2001||Tri-Methyl Aluminum (TMA)||Second stage ignition failure, mission lost|
|SR-III||December 24, 2003||Tri-Methyl Aluminum (TMA)||Mission successful|
|SR-IV||December 14, 2004||Airglow photometer, GPS receiver||Mission successful|
|SR-V||January 15, 2006||Ion probe||Mission successful|
|SR-VII||May 10, 2010||Ion probe||Mission successful |
Little has been publicly revealed about the specification of the ROC's first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) （小型發射載具）. It should be able to place a 50 kg payload to a 500–700 km orbit （近地點/遠地點）with a 22.3 degrees inclination angle （軌道傾角偏差）and a tip-off rate （衛星入軌姿態） of less than 10 degrees per axis. This SLV will be an upgrade based on existing sounding rockets and will consist of four solid propellant stages with two strap-on solid rocket boosters. Therefore it will be in the same class of the Indian SLV-3. The inaugural launch is scheduled to take place during the second phase of the 2004-2018 space project（第二期太空計畫）, placing an indigenously-made satellite into orbit and after the preparatory launches of 10 to 15 sounding rockets （探空火箭）.
- FORMOSAT-1: Communications and ionospheric research satellite, launched in January 1999.
- FORMOSAT-2: Ionospheric research and surface mapping satellite, launched May 2004.
- FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC: Constellation of six microsatellites to perform GPS occultation studies of the upper atmosphere. Collaborative project with U.S. agencies including NASA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, launched in April 2006.
- YamSat: Series of picosatellites (volume 10 cubic cm, weight roughly 850 grams) designed to carry out simple short duration spectroscopy missions. Originally planned for launch in 2003 by a Russian launch vehicle but cancelled due to political pressure from the PRC.
- Sprint-B/ERG: JAXA mission to study the inner-magnetosphere. Taiwan will provide an instrument. Launch is planned for 2014-2015.
- FORMOSAT-5: Optical earth observation and magnetic field research as a successor to the Japanese REIMEI mission. Cooperation with Japan and Canada. Launch was originally planned for 2011.; now it's expected to happen in 2014, see 2014 in spaceflight.
- FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2: Constellation of twelve small satellites to perform GPS occultation studies of the upper atmosphere. Collaborative project with U.S. agencies including NASA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, launch is planned for 2014 and 2017.
Developments & long term plans
The first phase of the ROC's space program involves the development of the human and technological resources required to build and maintain three satellite programs, which is expected to be completed with the launch of FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC by the end of 2005. Currently, the spacecraft and instrumentation are designed and assembled in Taiwan by local and foreign corporations and shipped to the U.S. for launch by commercial space launch firms. NSPO and the military Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology have also been working on the development of a sounding rocket for upper atmospheric studies.
The second phase is scheduled to take place between 2006 and 2018, and will involve an emphasis on developing technological integration and miniaturization capabilities required for the development of constellations of microsatellites, as well as encouraging growth in the local aerospace industry.
Since 2009, NSPO has been working with university research teams in developing innovative solutions to improve the overall efficiency of hybrid rockets. Nitrous oxide/HTPB propellant systems were employed with efficiency boosting designs, which resulted in great improvements in hybrid rocket performance using two patented designs. So far, several hybrid rockets have been successfully launched to 10~20 km altitudes, including a demonstration of in-flight stops/restarts. By the end of 2014, they will attempt conducting suborbital experiments to 100~200 km altitude.
-  http://mepopedia.com/blog/index.php?/archives/2010/05/10.html 2010-10-05. Retrieved May 18, 2010
- "小型發射载具性能". 虚幻天空. June 23, 2008. Retrieved June 25, 2008.[dead link]
- "台"太空计划"决定发展微卫星火箭发射载具". 中国日报网站. October 21, 2003. Retrieved June 26, 2008.
- "JAXA Update". JAXA. 2010. Retrieved Feb 6, 2011.
- "Plasma/particle instruments and Japan-Taiwan collaboration for the Geospace magnetosphere/ionosphere explorations". Masafumi Hirahara. October 21, 2003. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
- http://www.nspo.org.tw/2008e/news/news_content.php?id=000324%7Cpublisher=NSPO%7Cdate=August 17, 2010