Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday lauded the success of the nation’s space program, affirming the government’s commitment to the development of a sustainable aerospace industry.
Chen made the remarks at the opening of a special exhibition hosted by the Presidential Office on the Formosat series of satellites.
Formosat-5, the first satellite designed and manufactured in Taiwan, became operational on Sept. 25 and marked a new milestone in the history of the Taiwanese space program, which began in 1991, he said.
The satellite is a sentinel of Taiwan and the world, he said.
Imaging resolution problems that occurred briefly after the satellite’s launch in August last year were resolved by the National Space Organization and the craft — as intended — is engaged in resource-exploration work, geological surveys, and disaster prevention and response missions, he said.
Formosat-1, launched in 1999 and decommissioned in 2004, was Taiwan’s first satellite and demonstrated the nation’s vision for aerospace technology and technical ability as one of the few states capable of independently developing a complete satellite system, he said.
Formosat-2 was launched in 2004 and was decommissioned after 12 years, he said.
Formosat-3 was a collection of six micro meteorological satellites that were developed by a Taiwan-US program and which are internationally renowned as the most accurate thermometer in space, he said.
Formosat-7 is to focus on surveying low-latitude regions for meteorological data and to supplement Formosat-3 by deploying more advanced equipment, which will provide more accurate and timely weather predictions, he said.
The exhibition at the Presidential Office Building features scale models of the satellites, audio and video displays, and interactive games to introduce each of the nation’s satellites and their mission.
The event is designed with young people in mind and Chen hopes it would help foster the nation’s next generation of scientists and engineers to work in space exploration.
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