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 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 exploration, satellite construction and development as well as related technologies and infrastructure (including the FORMOSAT series of Earth observation satellites) and related research in astronautics, quantum physics, materials science, aerospace engineering, remote sensing, astrophysics, atmospheric science, information science, space weapons, a Taiwanese manned spaceflight program and the deployment of space-based weapons for the defense of national security in Taiwan.
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 Manned Spaceflight and satellite launch vehicle program
Little has been publicly revealed about the specification of the ROC (Taiwan)'s first launch vehicle for both Taiwanese astronauts and satellites (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 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 an 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-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, NOAA and the University Corporation 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 People's Republic of China (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, NOAA and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, launch is planned for 2016 and 2018.
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. 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 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.
A Taiwanese manned spaceflight program is currently in development and the spacecraft and rocket technology is currently being designed for both orbital spaceflights around Earth as well as future voyages to the moon and planet Mars by Taiwanese astronauts. As part of this human spaceflight effort, Taiwan has built numerous sounding rockets and launch vehicle prototypes to launch both satellites and Taiwanese astronauts. Taiwan has also developed state of the art cutting edge technologies, which only a small number of countries like the United States, France and Germany have, for spaceflight in indigenous Taiwanese built satellites. Additionally, the Taiwan Lunar Lander Program was initiated in 2016 and is a technological innovation program currently ongoing and in development by Taiwan's National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology to build a cutting edge advanced Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) autonomous lunar lander that is scheduled to be sent to the surface of the moon in the year 2020. The advanced innovative Taiwanese technology developed in this project is designed to be used in preparation for Taiwan's Manned Spaceflight Program's future missions to the moon, planet Mars and asteroids by Taiwanese astronauts.
- 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.
- "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" (PDF). JAXA. 2010. Retrieved Feb 6, 2011.
- "Plasma/particle instruments and Japan-Taiwan collaboration for the Geospace magnetosphere/ionosphere explorations" (PDF). Masafumi Hirahara. October 21, 2003. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
- http://www.nspo.org.tw/2008e/news/news_content.php?id=000324|publisher=NSPO|date=August 17, 2010
- "COSMIC-2 on Gunter's Space Page". January 21, 2016.