Taiwan: Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Taiwan’s National Space Organization (NSPO) have signed a contract for the launch of NSPO’s earth observation satellite, Formosat-5. The satellite will be used to continue the image data service for civilian users and may also carry instruments to conduct space research and scientific experiments.
NSPO, the civilian space agency of the Republic of China (Taiwan), is involved in the development of space exploration, satellite construction and development as well as related research, technologies and infrastructure, including the FORMOSAT series of Earth observation satellites. With Formosat-5, NSPO aims to build up capabilities for independent development of spacecraft and payload instruments.
Formosat-5 is slated to launch as early as December 2013 from SpaceX’s launch site on Omelek Island at the US Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) in the Central Pacific, about 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii.