National Space Organization
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April 1, 2005 (renamed)
|Headquarters||Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu, Taiwan|
|Chun-Liang Lin (Director General)|
|Jiu Peng Air Base, Pingtung|
The National Space Organization (NSPO, Chinese: 國家太空中心; pinyin: Guójiā Tàikōng Zhōngxīn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Kok-ka Thài-khong Tiong-sim; formerly known as the National Space Program Office) is the national civilian space agency of Taiwan under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology. NSPO is involved in the development of space technologies and related research.
|Director General's Office|
|Satellite operations control|
|Integration and test|
|Division||Planning and promotion|
|Finance and accounting|
|Program office||Mission oriented projects|
NSPO also has numerous laboratories, such as:
- System Simulation Laboratory
- Thermal Control Laboratory
- Microwave Communication Laboratory
- Data Processing Laboratory
- Attitude Determination and Control Laboratory
- Electro-optics Laboratory
- Structure Development Laboratory
- Electrical Power Laboratory
- Multi-layer Insulation (MLI) Laboratory
Taiwanese rocket launch 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|
Taiwanese satellite launch vehicle program
Little has been publicly revealed about the specification of the ROC (Taiwan)'s first launch vehicle for small satellites (SLV) (小型發射載具). It should be able to place a 100 kg payload to a 500–700 km orbit. This SLV will be a major technological improvement 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 was scheduled to take place during the second phase of the 2004–2018 space project (第二期太空計畫), placing a Taiwanese-made satellite into orbit and after the preparatory launches of 10 to 15 sounding rockets (探空火箭).
Taiwanese designed and built satellites
Formosat (formerly ROCSAT)
- Formosat-1 (formerly ROCSAT-1): Communications and ionospheric research satellite, launched in January 1999.
- Formosat-2 (formerly ROCSAT-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 US agencies including NASA, NOAA and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, launched in April 2006.
- 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, it was launched in 2017.
- Formosat-6 was a micro satellite project, its development was cancelled.
- Formosat-7 is a group of 6 satellites in low inclination orbits to provide meteorology data at low and mid latitudes. Launch took place in June of 2019.
- YamSat: Series of picosatellites (volume 1000 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 Russian government.
- Arase: JAXA mission to study the inner magnetosphere, launched 2016. Taiwan provided an instrument.
- RISESAT: microsatellite developed by Tohoku University, launched in 2019. Taiwan provided an instrument.
- Formosat-7/Cosmic-2: Constellation of twelve small satellites to perform GPS occultation studies of the upper atmosphere. Collaborative project with US agencies including NASA, NOAA and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, launch is planned for 2017 and 2019.
Developments and long term plans
The first phase of Taiwan'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. The NSPO, the military, and 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. It 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 technology 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.
In 2019 the Ministry of Science and Technology announced an expected cost of NT$25.1 billion (US$814 million) for the third phase of the National Space Program. The third phase will see at least one satellite launched per year between 2019 and 2028.
- "About NSPO | Director General". Nspo.narl.org.tw. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- "About NSPO | Vision and Mission". Nspo.narl.org.tw. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- "About NSPO | Organization". Nspo.narl.org.tw. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- "About NSPO | Infrastructures". Nspo.narl.org.tw. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- "美寶落格 MEPO Log - 文章在 週一, 五月 10. 2010". Mepopedia.com. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
- "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. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter
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- "Plasma/particle instruments and Japan-Taiwan collaboration for the Geospace magnetosphere/ionosphere explorations" (PDF). Masafumi Hirahara. October 21, 2003. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
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- "FORMOSAT 6". space.skyrocket.de. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- "FORMOSAT -7". www.nspo.narl.org.tw. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- YamSat Program, National Space Organization
- "YamSat 1A, 1B, 1C". Space.skyrocket.de. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
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- "太空中心升格為太空研究院？立委意見不一 - 大紀元". Epochtimes.com. November 15, 2006. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
- Sherry Hsiao, Chien Hui-ju. "Ministry announces third phase of space program". taipeitimes.com. Taipei Times. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Matthew, Strong. "Taiwan to launch one satellite a year over the next decade". taiwannews.com. Taiwan News. Retrieved April 14, 2019.