FormoSat-5 begins contact with ground station

Taipei-Eighty-two minutes and 56 seconds after lift-off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Friday, the first Taiwan-made satellite FormoSat-5 started communications with planet earth, according to the Hsinchu-based National Space Organization (NSPO).

In a statement, NSPO said that at 4:13 a.m. Taiwan time, its ground antenna in Svalbard, Norway received signals from FormoSat-5, which was launched into the 720-km orbit by SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket 11 minutes 19 seconds after liftoff at 2:50 a.m.

"The success of the first contact marks a milestone of FormoSat-5," said the statement. It noted that its first contact to Taiwan station is expected by 9:44 a.m.

Science and Technology Minister Chen Liang-gee (???)and NARLabs President Wang Yeong-her (???)were elated by the successful first contact with the Norway station.

In about two weeks, FormoSat-5's Remote Sensing Instrument and Advanced Ionospheric Probe will beginning providing data that can be used for national security, geopolitical, scientific and academic purposes, NSPO said.

NSPO is part of National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) which was established in June 2003 after combining 10 national labs into an independent institute.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel