National Space Organization

The National Space Organization (NSPO, Chinese: 國家太空中心; formerly known as the National Space Program Office) is the national civilian space agency of Taiwan (Republic of China), 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.[2]

National Space Organization
National Space Organization (Republic of China) (logo).png
Agency overview
FormedOctober 1991
1 April 2005 (renamed)
TypeSpace agency
HeadquartersHsinchu Science Park, East, Hsinchu City, Taiwan
AdministratorChun-Liang Lin (Director General)[1]
Primary spaceportJiu Peng Air Base, Pingtung, Taiwan
OwnerTaiwan Taiwan
National Space Organization
Traditional Chinese國家太空中心
Simplified Chinese国家太空中心
Literal meaningNational Space Centre


NSPO headquarters and the main ground control station are in Hsinchu. The NSPO is organized as follows:[3]

Director General's Office
Engineering division Systems
Flight control
Satellite operations control
Satellite image
Integration and test
Product assurance
Division Planning and promotion
Finance and accounting
Program office Mission oriented projects
Formosat 7
Formosat 5

NSPO also has numerous laboratories,[4] such as:

  • System Simulation Laboratory
  • Thermal Control Laboratory
  • Microwave Communication Laboratory
  • Data Processing Laboratory
  • Attitude Determination and Control Laboratory
  • Electro-optics Laboratory
  • Structure Development Laboratory
  • Electrical Power Laboratory
  • Multi-layer Insulation (MLI) Laboratory

Taiwanese rocket launch programEdit

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.

Mission Date Payload Result
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[5]

Taiwanese satellite launch vehicle programEdit

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).[6]

Taiwanese designed and built satellitesEdit

Formosat (formerly ROCSAT)Edit

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)).


  • YamSat: Series of picosatellites (volume 1000 cubic cm, weight roughly 850 grams) designed to carry out simple short duration spectroscopy missions.[11] Originally planned for launch in 2003 by a Russian launch vehicle but cancelled due to political pressure from the Russian government.[12]
  • Arase: JAXA mission to study the inner magnetosphere, launched 2016. Taiwan provided an instrument.
  • RISESAT: microsatellite developed by Tohoku University, Japan, launched in 2019. Taiwan provided an instrument.[13]
  • Flying Squirrel, developed by National Central University and launched in 2021.[14]
  • Yushan, developed by MoGaMe Mobile Entertainment and launched in 2021.[14]

Planned missionsEdit

  • Triton, The FORMOSAT-7R (TRITON) is a micro-satellite designed and manufactured by NSPO. It is planned along with the FORMOSAT-7 program, thus it continues to use FORMOSAT serial number and subjoins a letter “R” for identification. Known as the “wind hunter” the satellite will measure sea winds and provide a supplement to the FORMOSAT-7 constellation. The name ”Triton” is given due to its mission.[15] Triton is to be launched in 2021 by Arianespace SA from the Kourou launch complex in French Guiana. The Triton satellite will be 87% Taiwanese made, an improvement from the Formosat-7’s 78%.[16]
  • Formosat-8, remote sensing satellite planned to follow Triton.[16]
  • Nut, developed by National Formosa University. To be launched in June 2021.[14]

Developments and long term plansEdit

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[17] The third phase will see at least one satellite launched per year between 2019 and 2028.[18]

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.[19]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "About NSPO | Director General". Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "About NSPO | Vision and Mission". Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  3. ^ "About NSPO | Organization". Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  4. ^ "About NSPO | Infrastructures". Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  5. ^ "美寶落格 MEPO Log - 文章在 週一, 五月 10. 2010". Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  6. ^ "台"太空计划"决定发展微卫星火箭发射载具". 中国日报网站. October 21, 2003. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. ^ "Plasma/particle instruments and Japan-Taiwan collaboration for the Geospace magnetosphere/ionosphere explorations" (PDF). Masafumi Hirahara. October 21, 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2009. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
  8. ^ "FORMOSAT 5". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  9. ^ "FORMOSAT 6". Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  10. ^ "FORMOSAT -7". Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  11. ^ YamSat Program, National Space Organization
  12. ^ "YamSat 1A, 1B, 1C". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  13. ^ Clark, Stephen. "Japan's Epsilon rocket launches seven tech demo satellites". / Pole Star Publications Ltd. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c Ssu-yun, Su; Mazzetta, Matthew. "SpaceX rocket carries two Taiwanese satellites into space". Focus Taiwan. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  15. ^ Hui-ju, Chien. "Second satellite to launch in Guyana in last half of 2021". Taipei Times. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  16. ^ a b Strong, Matthew. "France's Arianespace wins bid to launch Taiwan satellite in 2021". Taiwan News. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  17. ^ Sherry Hsiao, Chien Hui-ju. "Ministry announces third phase of space program". Taipei Times. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  18. ^ Matthew, Strong. "Taiwan to launch one satellite a year over the next decade". Taiwan News. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  19. ^ Pei-ju, Teng. "Thailand seeks consultation with Taiwan on domestically built satellite". Taiwan News. Retrieved November 15, 2019.

External linksEdit