According to recent news by the Taipai Times, Taiwan would seek to use Japan’s satellite services until its newest satellite, the FORMOSAT-5, can be launched later this year.
Minister of Science and Technology Yang Hung-duen told a meeting of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee that the launch of FORMOSAT-5 had been delayed because of a failed rocket test in June last year by the US company commissioned to launch the satellite.
FORMOSAT-5 will not be launched until about October, Yang said, although the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL) had said the launch would take place last month.
Until FORMOSAT-5 is put into service, Taiwan would rely on Japan for satellite services, Yang said.
FORMOSAT-5 was scheduled to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in the first quarter, to replace FORMOSAT-2, which has been conducting remote sensing imaging since May 2004.
FORMOSAT-5, which is to carry a payload including an optical remote sensing instrument designed and developed in Taiwan, was designed to take over the remote sensing imaging mission of FORMOSAT-2.
Since Taiwan began its space program in 1991, it has sent three satellites into space.
FORMOSAT-1 was decommissioned in 2004, while FORMOSAT-2 and the weather satellite FORMOSAT-3 remain in orbit.