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FS-7 Puts Spotlight on Taiwan’s Space Industry Supply Chain

By Korbin Lan
Published: Jul 01,2019

FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 (FS-7), delivered by the American Company SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.(source: MOST)

TAIPEI, Taiwan - FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 (FS-7), delivered by the American Company SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, was successfully launched at the Kennedy Space Center in the United States. This successful launch once again shows that the space industry is no longer out of reach for Taiwanese companies and that it will become more and more accessible to ordinary people.

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For the FS-7, following the launch of the FS-3 into space in in 2006, Taiwan and the United States have teamed up once again to develop a satellite, and the R&D of many of the components and systems in the satellite were independently developed in Taiwan (Formosat-5 was the first Taiwanese-made satellite). In particular, the Triton satellite was developed in its entirety in Taiwan, and it includes a GNSS-Reflectometry payload, a satellite computer, a power control unit, a GPS receiver, and a fiber optic gyroscope and hydrogen peroxide satellite propulsion module.

In addition, the cost of the FS-7 has been further reduced with a price tag of approximately NT$3.2 billion. In comparison with the Formosat-5, which was launched in August 2017 and cost a total of NT$5.659 billion in funding, the expenses for the FS-7 have been further reduced.

Therefore, in terms of the overall price as well as current R&D, manufacturing, and launch processes, space exploration has been transformed from being in the national level to the enterprise level scope of operations; consequently, it will inevitably take the form of what will be considered a “space industry.” At present, the Executive Yuan has already approved a long term development plan for space technology in Taiwan, and for the ten years between 2019 to 2028, NT$25.1 billion will be invested in combining the capabilities of the industry and academic worlds and independently developing ten satellites in order to develop commercial components and general-purpose satellite body platforms, independently develop key components, and drive the development of Taiwan's space industry.

(TR/ Phil Sweeney)

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