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SpaceX rocket launches 2 Taiwan-made satellites into orbit

Taiwan's Flying Squirrel and Yushan satellites part of SpaceX's first rideshare launch

(SpaceX YouTube screenshot)

(SpaceX YouTube screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A SpaceX rocket on Sunday (Jan. 24) lifted off the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Florida carrying two Taiwan-made satellites into space.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off into space at 10 a.m. carrying the pair of Taiwanese CubeSats (立方衛星) — YUSAT ("Yushan," 玉山) and IDEASSat ("Flying Squirrel," 飛鼠). The mission was dubbed Transporter-1 and was the first rideshare launch operated by SpaceX.

The launch set a record for putting 143 satellites into orbit, with the previous record being 104 satellites set in 2017 by the Indian Space Research Organisation's rocket, the PSLV. It is also the first time that Taiwan's CubeSats have been launched into space.

IDEASSat CubeSat is manufactured by National Central University. It measures just 10x10x34 centimeters and weighs 4.4 kilograms.

It is designed to measure the characteristics of plasma in the earth's ionosphere and study how it affects satellites and terrestrial radio communications, with the aim of improving GPS positioning.

YUSAT is produced by New Taipei-based MoGaMe Mobile Entertainment. It is 10x10x17 cm in size and weighs 1.6 kg.

It can carry out dynamic monitoring of both maritime and ground traffic, as well as emergency relief, homeland security, and other purposes. Video of the launch can be seen below: