TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Formosat-7, the second satellite constellation jointly built by Taiwan and the U.S., is slated to launch at 2:30 p.m. today (June 25), Taiwan Time.
Although the satellite was originally scheduled to be launched into space by a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 11:30 a.m. this morning, the space center said that the launch has been delayed to 2:30 p.m., reported Liberty Times. The space center said that there was a problem with the ground system at the launch site and the launch has been delayed by three hours, with the launch window today ranging between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
The rocket which will be transporting the Formosat-7 into space today is the Falcon Heavy, which is comprised of a Falcon 9 rocket in the center combined with two first-stage modular rockets. The rocket, which is capable of carrying 63,800 kg worth of payload, will be placing 24 satellites into a low-Earth orbit today.
The effort to build the Formosat-7 constellation, which will replace Formosat-3, was the largest ever joint project between Taiwan and the U.S. Formosat-7 was designed to take over the functions of Formosat-3, and will circle the Earth at a height of 550 kilometers and round the planet once every 97 minutes.
The launch pad from which the rocket will be blasting off today, Space LaunchComplex（SLC）39A, is very famous. Over the years, it was launch site of many famous missions, including the Apollo program, the Space Shuttle, and SpaceX.
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.
(Photo by National Applied Research Laboratories)
Video of the launch can be seen on the SpaceX YouTube channel:
The launch can also be watched on Taiwan's National Space Organization (NSPO) YouTube channel: