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Foxconn to launch Taiwan-made satellite

Spacebound communications device will look 'like a backpack'

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Foxconn has announced it will launch its first LEO satellite next year. SpaceX has already launched 2000 of the devices, one of which is pictured here...

Foxconn has announced it will launch its first LEO satellite next year. SpaceX has already launched 2000 of the devices, one of which is pictured here...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foxconn announced plans to launch a Taiwan-made low earth orbit (LEO) satellite next year as the race to deploy the technology heats up globally.

The company’s research division made the announcement at a press event on Saturday (Feb. 18), per CNA. The satellite will weigh about 12 kilograms, look a bit “like a backpack”, and will be capable of completing a full earth orbit at an altitude of 550 kilometers 15 times each day, according to Foxconn researchers.

The initiative is a collaboration between Foxconn’s communications research center and Taoyuan’s National Central University. The researchers also said Foxconn will be collaborating with others on the initiative, but that details about this will be announced at a later date.

The race to deploy low earth orbit satellites for communications purposes has been heating up recently, as advances in technology bring the world closer to realizing connectivity for a third of the planet’s population that is still offline.

The European Union recently announced plans for €6 billion (nearly NT$195 billion) in funding for a new LEO satellite system, and Space X’s Starlink has deployed nearly 2000 satellites and applied for licenses for more than 40,000.