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Taiwanese satellite rides SpaceX rocket into orbit

25 August 2017

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Flying with an exceptionally lightweight payload, a Falcon 9 rocket delivered a multipurpose research satellite into a nearly 450-mile-high orbit on 24 August for Taiwan following a smooth countdown and liftoff from California's Central Coast.

Weighing in at about a half-ton, or 475 kilograms, the FormoSat-5 satellite doubles as an orbiting observatory to look down on Earth and as a pathfinder for Taiwan's future space ambitions.

Originally slated to fly on SpaceX's discontinued Falcon 1 rocket, FormoSat-5 is the first major space mission fully designed, manufactured and tested in Taiwan. It follows FormoSat-2, a European-built satellite owned by Taiwan's National Space Organization, or NSPO, launched in 2004 from Vandenberg on a Taurus rocket.

Source: Spaceflight Now

Image credit: SpaceX - The Falcon 9 rocket lifts off Thursday with Formosat 5

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