U.S. has detected, numbered FormoSat-5: project head

Taipei, Aug. 28 (CNA) FormoSat-5, Taiwan’s first domestically developed satellite, has been detected and numbered by the U.S. Department of Defense’s warfare command center, the director of the satellite project developed by Taiwan’s National Space Organization (NSPO) said Monday.

The orbit and height of the satellite have met their expectations, added Chang Ho-pen (張和本) at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport upon his return from the United States along with some members of his team and Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Su Fong-chin (蘇芳慶).

The group were in the U.S. for the launch of FormoSat-5, which was taken by the SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California into its 720-km orbit several minutes after liftoff at 2:50 a.m. Friday (Taiwan time).

Chang said that several members of his team remained at the U.S. space center, where they are monitoring the remote sensing satellite and conducting tests and data verification in the hope that the spacecraft can begin operating normally as soon as possible.

At the same time, he went on, the specialists will fine-tune the parameters so that the satellite can run at its optimum capacity.

FormoSat-5, which was entirely developed and built in Taiwan, is expected to begin providing data that can be used for national security, geopolitical, scientific and academic purposes in about two weeks, according to the NSPO.

At the airport, Su told reporters that FormoSat-5’s launch marks the importance of advanced scientific research. “It not only opens an aspect for Taiwan’s space technology research, but also looks after people’s livelihoods in terms of flooding and disaster prevention and homeland maintenance,” he said.

The satellite commences an era in Taiwan’s space industry that can create economic benefits, Su said.

(By Chiu Chun-chin and Elizabeth Hsu)


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