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INSPIRESat-1 jointly developed with Taiwan launches in India

Taiwanese team behind sounder that measures wireless comms in upper atmosphere

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Launch of rocket carrying INSPIRESat satellite on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. (Indian Space Research Organization photo).

Launch of rocket carrying INSPIRESat satellite on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. (Indian Space Research Organization photo).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A satellite whose development involved a Taiwanese research team successfully launched from India in the early morning hours of Monday (Feb. 14).

The INSPIRESat-1 CubeSat was launched at 5:59 a.m. local time from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota — an island off India's east coast in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The project was part of Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology's "Young Scholars Cultivation Program" and the Ministry of Education's "Higher Education Deep Cultivation Program," per a UDN report.

The project was partly funded by National Central University (NCU), with faculty member Professor Chang Chi–wei (張起維) leading work on the satellite’s micro ionospheric sounder. The sounder has a mass of 433 grams and can measure ionospheric ion concentrations, velocities, and temperatures to better understand how changing conditions impact wireless communications in this portion of the Earth’s atmosphere, per NCU.

NCU researchers have been working on the project for the past four years along with a number of researchers from the U.S., Singapore, India, and other countries. Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology said the launch represents a major breakthrough in the country’s international cooperation in space and shows the world the strength of Taiwanese research in that domain.