Taiwan moon exploration petition gains support

Taiwan's National Space Organization launched 3rd space program in 2019

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Taiwan may send satellite to moon within next decade.

Taiwan may send satellite to moon within next decade. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A petition calling for Taiwan to accelerate its moon exploration plans is gaining signatures on the government's online platform and it will respond once the threshold of 5,000 signatures is reached.

Taiwan's National Space Organization (NSPO) launched its 3rd National Space Technology Development Long-term Program in 2019. This entailed the island nation investing an estimated NT$25.1 billion (US$710.39 million) over the next decade to launch 10 satellites into space.

The satellites will take high-resolution images of Earth. Even though the newly mooted program includes the idea of sending a satellite to orbit the moon, it is not the main focus because Taiwan lacks experience and needs to rely on international cooperation to succeed, according to the NSPO.

Under the program, Taiwan's space exploration will begin in 2023 and after six years enter the "critical design review" stage. The petition states the NSPO does not need to fully commit to space exploration because of a limited budget and resources.

The petition urges Taiwan's Cabinet to incorporate moon exploration into the program and establish the goal of sending a satellite to orbit the moon by 2028.

Technology developed for space exploration has led to the development of diapers, water filters, and integrated circuits. The initiators of the petition believe Taiwan should keep abreast of other nations, such as South Korea and Singapore, as they have been sending satellites to the moon.