National Space Organization

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National Space Organization
NSPO logo
Acronym NSPO
Owner Republic of China
Established October 1991
April 1, 2005 (renamed)
Headquarters Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu, Taiwan, Republic of China
Primary spaceport Jiu Peng Air Base, Pingtung
Administrator Dr. Guey-Shin Chang (Director General)[1]
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 under the auspices of the ROC (Taiwan) Ministry of Science and Technology. NSPO is involved in the development of space technologies and related research.[2]


NSPO headquarters and the main ground control station are in Hsinchu, Taiwan. The NSPO is organized as follows:[3]

Director General's Office
Engineering division Systems
Flight control
Satellite operations control
Satellite image
Integration and test
Product assurance
Division Planning and promotion
Finance and accounting
Program office Mission oriented projects
Formosat 7
Formosat 5

NSPO also has numerous laboratories,[4] 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[edit]

The NSPO developed several suborbital launch vehicles based on the Sky Bow II surface-to-air missile. There have been 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[5]

Taiwanese satellite launch vehicle program[edit]

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 is 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).[6]

Taiwanese designed and built satellites[edit]

Formosat (formerly ROCSAT)[edit]

The FORMOSAT (福爾摩沙衛星) name derived from Formosa and satellite (formerly ROCSAT (中華衛星) = Republic of China (ROC) + satellite (sat)).


  • YamSat: Series of picosatellites (volume 1000 cubic cm, weight roughly 850 grams) designed to carry out simple short duration spectroscopy missions.[9] Originally planned for launch in 2003 by a Russian launch vehicle but cancelled due to political pressure from the Russian government.[10]
  • Arase: JAXA mission to study the inner magnetosphere, launched 2016. Taiwan provided an instrument.

Planned missions[edit]

Developments and long term plans[edit]

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.

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.[12]


  1. ^ "Welcome to NSPO". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  2. ^ "Welcome to NSPO". Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  3. ^ "Welcome to NSPO". Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  4. ^ "Welcome to NSPO". Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  5. ^ "美寶落格 MEPO Log - 文章在 週一, 五月 10. 2010". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "Plasma/particle instruments and Japan-Taiwan collaboration for the Geospace magnetosphere/ionosphere explorations" (PDF). Masafumi Hirahara. October 21, 2003. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
  8. ^ "FORMOSAT 5". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  9. ^ YamSat Program, National Space Organization
  10. ^ "YamSat 1A, 1B, 1C". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  11. ^ "FORMOSAT 7 / COSMIC-2". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  12. ^ "太空中心升格為太空研究院?立委意見不一 - 大紀元". November 15, 2006. Retrieved August 1, 2017.

External links[edit]