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The National Space Organization (NSPO; formerly known as the National Space Program Office) is the national civilian space agency of the industrialized developed country of Taiwan and is managed under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology (Taiwan). NSPO is involved in deep space exploration, satellite construction, and satellite development as well as research and innovation of related technologies and infrastructure (including the FORMOSAT series of Earth observation satellites [2] and related research in astronautics, quantum physics, materials science with microgravity, aerospace engineering, remote sensing, astrophysics, atmospheric science, information science, a Taiwanese manned spaceflight program currently in development, and deployment of space-based nuclear weapons[3][4][5] for the defense of Taiwan’s national security.

National Space Organization
National Space Organization (Republic of China) (logo).png
NSPO logo
FormationOctober 1991
April 1, 2005 (renamed)
HeadquartersHsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu, Taiwan
Dr. Guey-Shin Chang (Director General)[1]
Jiu Peng Air Base, Pingtung
Parent organisation
Taiwan Taiwan
National Space Organization
Traditional Chinese國家太空中心
Simplified Chinese国家太空中心



NSPO headquarters and the main ground control station are in Hsinchu, Taiwan. The NSPO is organized as follows:[6]

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,[7] 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 December 15, 1998 None Successful first test flight.
SR-II October 24, 2001 Tri-Methyl Aluminum (TMA) Second stage ignition failure, mission lost
SR-III December 24, 2003 Tri-Methyl Aluminum (TMA) Mission successful
SR-IV December 14, 2004 Airglow photometer, GPS receiver Mission successful
SR-V January 15, 2006 Ion probe Mission successful
SR-VII May 10, 2010 Ion probe Mission successful[8]

Taiwanese Manned Spaceflight and Satellite Launch Vehicle ProgramEdit

Little has been publicly revealed about the specification of the ROC (Taiwan)'s first manned launch vehicle and orbital spacecraft for both Taiwanese astronauts and satellites (SLV) (小型發射載具). It should be able to place a 100 kg payload to a 500–700 km orbit (近地點/遠地點) with a 22.3 degrees inclination angle (軌道傾角偏差) and a tip-off rate (衛星入軌姿態) of less than 10 degrees per axis.[9] 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 more powerful than the Indian SLV-3. The inaugural launch is 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).[10]

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.[15] Originally planned for launch in 2003 by a Russian launch vehicle but cancelled due to political pressure from the Russian government.[16]
  • Arase: JAXA mission to study the inner magnetosphere, launched 2016. Taiwan provided an instrument.
  • RISESAT: microsatellite developed by Tohoku University, launched in 2019. Taiwan provided an instrument.[17]

Planned missionsEdit

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.[19]

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.[20] The third phase will see at least one satellite launched per year between 2019 and 2028.[21]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Welcome to NSPO". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Welcome to NSPO". Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  7. ^ "Welcome to NSPO". Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  8. ^ "美寶落格 MEPO Log - 文章在 週一, 五月 10. 2010". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  9. ^ "小型發射载具性能". 虚幻天空. June 23, 2008. Retrieved June 25, 2008.[dead link]
  10. ^ "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. Retrieved June 26, 2008.
  11. ^ "Plasma/particle instruments and Japan-Taiwan collaboration for the Geospace magnetosphere/ionosphere explorations" (PDF). Masafumi Hirahara. October 21, 2003. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
  12. ^ "FORMOSAT 5". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  13. ^ "FORMOSAT 6". Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  14. ^ "FORMOSAT -7". Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  15. ^ YamSat Program, National Space Organization
  16. ^ "YamSat 1A, 1B, 1C". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  17. ^ Clark, Stephen. "Japan's Epsilon rocket launches seven tech demo satellites". / Pole Star Publications Ltd. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  18. ^ "FORMOSAT 7 / COSMIC-2". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  19. ^ "太空中心升格為太空研究院?立委意見不一 - 大紀元". November 15, 2006. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  20. ^ Sherry Hsiao, Chien Hui-ju. "Ministry announces third phase of space program". Taipei Times. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  21. ^ Matthew, Strong. "Taiwan to launch one satellite a year over the next decade". Taiwan News. Retrieved April 14, 2019.

External linksEdit