Taiwan satellite Formosat-7 to be launched soon in the US

Relevant parties are awaiting launch date confirmation, expected soon

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An overview of the Formosat program.

An overview of the Formosat program. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Formosat-7 satellite (福衛七號) is soon to be launched in the U.S.

Parties are currently waiting for confirmation before the satellite is transported over to the U.S. Personnel from the U.S.’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) visited Taiwan in January to convene a conference prior to shipment in order to go over specific details of the operation, including technical issues such as satellite reception information.

CNA reports that according to sources, reusable spacecraft Crew Dragon is first on SpaceX’s launch operation schedule this year, followed by a Saudi Arabian satellite, then the Formosat-7. Relevant personnel indicated thorough inspections must be completed before every launch, and if an abnormality or failure is discovered during an inspection, it can impact the launch schedule.

After the Formosat-7 is launched, it will collect a number of different measures of data including atmospheric temperature, humidity and pressure. Experts believe it will increase the accuracy of Taiwan’s weather forecasts by at least 10 percent, and the amount of data collected for regional weather forecasts and ionic observations by three to four times.

The Formosat-7 exercise is the result of a Taiwan-U.S. agreement of technical cooperation signed in 2010, and jointly implemented by the Taiwan National Space Organization (NSPO) and the NOAA.

NSPO Director Lin Jun-liang (林俊良) told CNA Monday that the Formosat-7 is a meteorological observation satellite and its operations are relatively complicated. After it is launched, it will collect data that can be shared with the world for use in the scientific and meteorological communities. All specifics must be thoroughly examined before it is shipped, however.

Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said Formosat-7 is to be launched using SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket. Relevant bodies will be notified 60 days prior to the launch date once it is confirmed.