TAIPEI (CNA) –Taiwan’s new satellite constellation, FormoSat-7/COSMIC-2, was flown out of the country yesterday for a scheduled launch in the United States this summer.
FormoSat-7, the second joint development by Taiwan and the U.S., is scheduled to be launched from Kennedy Space Center on June 22.
It will replace FormoSat-3, the first Taiwan-U.S. collaborative space program, with state-of-the-art instruments and equipment that collect meteorological, ionospheric and climate data.
The departure of the satellites from Taiwan was coincidentally the same day FormoSat-3 was launched into space in 2006, the Ministry of Science and Technology said on its Facebook page.
FormoSat-3 has been in service for more than 13 years, the ministry said, adding that the constellation originally comprised six satellites, but only one is still functioning.
The National Space Organization (NSPO) will be able to determine whether the constellation is operating normally by examining the data it transmits through a signal reception station in Darwin, Australia, three hours after launch, NSPO Director-General Lin Chun-liang (林俊良) said.
It will take six hours after launch for FormoSat-7 to pass over Taiwan’s satellite signal station, Lin explained.
The constellation will be able to receive data within six months of launch, he said, but added that it would take about 19 months for it to settle into a long-term orbit.
By Liu Lee-jung and Ko Lin