National Space Organization

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National Space Organization
National Space Organization (Republic of China) (logo).png
NSPO logo
Acronym NSPO
Owner Taiwan (Republic of China)
Established October 1991
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
Traditional Chinese 國家太空中心
Simplified Chinese 国家太空中心

The National Space Organization (NSPO; formerly known as the National Space Program Office) is the national civilian space agency of Taiwan (Republic of China) 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, a future Taiwanese Manned Space Program and the deployment of space-based weapons for the defense of national security in the country of Taiwan.

NSPO headquarters and the main ground control station are in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Taiwanese Rocket Launch program[edit]

Indigenously developed suborbital launch vehicle based upon the Sky Bow II surface-to-air missile. Six to seven launches as of 2010.

Mission Date Payload Result
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 [1]

Satellite Launch Vehicle program[edit]

Little has been publicly revealed about the specification of the ROC (Taiwan)'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.[2] 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).[3]

Taiwanese designed and built satellites[edit]


Name derived from Formosa and satellite.


  • 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.[citation needed]
  • Sprint-B/ERG: JAXA mission to study the inner-magnetosphere. Taiwan will provide an instrument. Launch is planned for 2014-2015.[4]

Planned Missions[edit]

Developments & long term plans[edit]

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.

There have been proposals to elevate NSPO's status to that of a national research institute, however such plans were under debate Legislative Yuan as of late 2007.[8]

A future Taiwanese manned space program is currently in the development stage and designed to compete directly with the manned space programs of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Japan, United States of America, Russia and Europe.


External links[edit]