Formosat launch delayed two days

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Jun 15, 2019 - Page 2

The launch date for Formosat-7/COSMIC-2, the second satellite constellation developed by Taiwan and the US, has been postponed to June 24.

Formosat-7 is now scheduled to be launched at 11:30pm from Kennedy Space Center in Florida after its original launch date of Saturday next week was postponed, National Space Organization (NSPO) Deputy Director-General Yu Shiann-jen (余憲政) said on Thursday.

Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) is to watch the launch at the center with about 400 other Taiwanese, including expatriates, Yu said.

The event is to be broadcast by the NSPO in Hsinchu at 11:30am on June 25.

Ninety-one minutes into the launch, Formosat-7 is to separate from the rocket carrying it and would connect to the satellite signal station in Taiwan within six hours, Yu said.

The satellite constellation, which was flown from Taiwan to the US in mid April, originally consisted of 25 microsatellites, but only six are to be launched on June 24.

Formosat-7 is to replace Formosat-3 — the first satellite constellation developed by the two nations — to collect climate, meteorological and ionospheric data.

While Formosat-3 was the world’s first satellite system to collect weather data through radio occultation techniques, Formosat-7 is expected to collect three to four times more data, the NSPO said.

Formosat-7 is to receive about 4,000 signals per day from the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Russian global navigation satellite system, while Formosat-3 receives about 2,000 GPS signals, it said.

Formsat-7 is to be the “most accurate barometer in space” at detecting typhoons, monsoons and other severe weather, it added.