Guójiā Tàikōng Zhōngxīn
(as National Space Program Office)
1 April 2005
(as National Space Organization)
|Headquarters||Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu City, Taiwan|
|Administrator||Wu Tsung-hsin, Director General|
|Primary spaceport||Jiu Peng Air Base, Pingtung, Taiwan|
|National Space Organization|
|Literal meaning||National Space Centre|
The National Space Organization (NSPO or NSO; Chinese: 國家太空中心; pinyin: Guójiā Tàikōng Zhōngxīn) is the national civilian space agency of the Republic of China (Taiwan), part of the National Applied Research Laboratories under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology. NSPO is involved in the development of space technologies and related research.
NSPO was founded in order to develop and conduct researches on aerospace and natural science in Taiwan. In order to accomplish the assigned task from the Republic of China authorities, NSPO established the vision and mission to succeed on the journey.
Become a center of innovation and excellence for space technology is the main goal of NSPO. Also, conducting space programs with Taiwan's strength and global competitiveness is a very important task to do along the whole development.
NSPO headquarters and the main ground control station are in Hsinchu. The NSPO is organized as follows: In April 2022, the Legislative Yuan passed a bill that upgraded the NSPO to a directly affiliated agency of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
|Director General's Office|
|Satellite operations control|
|Integration and test|
|Division||Planning and promotion|
|Finance and accounting|
|Program office||Mission oriented projects|
NSPO also has numerous laboratories, such as:
The NSPO developed several suborbital launch vehicles based on the Sky Bow II surface-to-air missile. There have been six to seven launches as of 2010.
|SR-I||15 December 1998||None||Successful first test flight.|
|SR-II||24 October 2001||Tri-Methyl Aluminum (TMA)||Second stage ignition failure, mission lost|
|SR-III||24 December 2003||Tri-Methyl Aluminum (TMA)||Mission successful|
|SR-IV||14 December 2004||Airglow photometer, GPS receiver||Mission successful|
|SR-V||15 January 2006||Ion probe||Mission successful|
|SR-VII||May 10, 2010||Ion probe||Mission successful|
Little has been publicly revealed about the specification of the ROC (Taiwan)'s first launch vehicle for small satellites (SLV) (小型發射載具). It should be able to place a 100 kg payload to a 500–700 km orbit. This SLV will be a major technological improvement based on existing sounding rockets and will consist of four solid propellant stages with two strap-on solid rocket boosters. Therefore, it will be in the same class of the Indian SLV-3. The inaugural launch was scheduled to take place during the second phase of the 2004–2018 space project (第二期太空計畫), placing a Taiwanese-made satellite into orbit and after the preparatory launches of 10 to 15 sounding rockets (探空火箭).
The FORMOSAT (福爾摩沙衛星) name derived from Formosa and satellite (formerly ROCSAT (中華衛星) = Republic of China (ROC) + satellite (sat)).
The first phase of Taiwan's space program involves the development of the human and technological resources required to build and maintain three satellite programs, which is expected to be completed with the launch of Formosat-3/COSMIC by the end of 2005. Currently, the spacecraft and instrumentation are designed and assembled in Taiwan by local and foreign corporations and shipped to the U.S. for launch by commercial space launch firms. The NSPO, the military, and Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology have also been working on the development of a sounding rocket for upper atmospheric studies.
The second phase is scheduled to take place between 2006 and 2018. It will involve an emphasis on developing technological integration and miniaturization capabilities required for the development of constellations of microsatellites, as well as encouraging growth in the local aerospace industry.
Since 2009, NSPO has been working with university research teams in developing innovative technology to improve the overall efficiency of hybrid rockets. Nitrous oxide/HTPB propellant systems were employed with efficiency boosting designs, which resulted in great improvements in hybrid rocket performance using two patented designs. So far, several hybrid rockets have been successfully launched to 10~20 km altitudes, including a demonstration of in-flight stops/restarts. By the end of 2014, they will attempt conducting suborbital experiments to 100~200 km altitude.
There have been proposals to elevate NSPO's status to that of a national research institute, however such plans were under debate Legislative Yuan as of late 2007.
In 2019 the Ministry of Science and Technology announced an expected cost of NT$25.1 billion (US$814 million) for the third phase of the National Space Program. The third phase will see at least one satellite launched per year between 2019 and 2028.
In August 2019 Thailand’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency announced that they would consult with the National Space Organization on developing their own indigenous satellites.
In 2021 the Taiwanese legislature passed the Space Development Promotion Act which is meant to incentivize increased private sector participation in space industries.
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