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FormoSat-7 launch postponed to June 24

2019/06/13 23:05:55

Model of FormoSat-7, CNA file photo

Taipei, June 13 (CNA) The launch date for FormoSat-7/COSMIC-2, the second satellite constellation jointly developed by Taiwan and the United States, has been put back until June 24 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

FormoSat-7 is now scheduled to be launched at 11:30 a.m. after its original launch date of June 22 was postponed, National Space Organization (NSPO) Deputy Director-General Yu Shiann-jen (余憲政) said Thursday.

Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) will be present at the center to witness the launch with about 400 people from Taiwan, including expatriates, Yu said, noting that the event will be simultaneously broadcast by the NSPO in Hsinchu City at 11:30 a.m. June 25 (local time).

Ninety-one minutes into the launch, FormoSat-7 will separate from the rocket that carries it and within six hours connect to the satellite signal station in Taiwan, according to Yu.

The new satellite constellation, which was flown out of Taiwan in mid April for a launch in the U.S., is comprised of 25 microsatellites. However, only six, including FormoSat-7, will be launched June 24.

FormoSat-7 is to replace FormoSat-3, the first satellite constellation jointly developed by the two countries, to collect meteorological, ionospheric and climate data.

While Formosat-3 is the world's first satellite 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 will receive about 4,000 signals per day from the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System, while Formosat-3 receives about 2,000 GPS signals, it said.

Formsat-7 will be the "most accurate barometer in space" able to detect typhoons, monsoons and other severe weather, it added.

(By Flor Wang and Claudia Liu)
Enditem/AW