Premier Lai Ching-te traveled to Hsinchu Friday to inspect preparations for the delivery of the FORMOSAT-7 satellite to the U.S. for launch at a later date. Space technology is a major national program, and after decades of hard work by the National Space Organization, Taiwan has established a name for itself in the international space community, he said. He wished the FORMOSAT-7 staff success for the packaging preparations currently underway and all other preparatory work.
FORMOSAT-7 is the pride of the nation, surpassing the capabilities of even the "most accurate thermometer" in space, FORMOSAT-3, Premier Lai continued. It will not be limited by weather factors or geographic conditions on land or sea, and the volume of data generated will be three to four times that of FORMOSAT-3. Even more exciting is its ability to monitor the distribution of moisture during the formation of typhoons and southwesterly air flows, which will be of help to the Central Weather Bureau, local governments and the general public in tracking rain storms and precipitation amounts.
The first phase of the national space technology program ran from 1991 to 2006, the premier said, and the objective was to build a solid technological foundation. This period saw many successes, including the launches of the first three FORMOSAT satellites.
The second phase began in 2004 and will end this year. The objective has been building early-stage aerospace R&D capabilities domestically, and even teaming up with the aerospace industry. This second phase is now proceeding smoothly toward conclusion.
As for the program's third phase, Premier Lai indicated that work will run between 2019 and 2028. The focus will be on advanced aerospace technology, with the goal of progressing beyond early-stage domestic proficiencies. In addition to supporting the development of the aerospace industry, the third stage will see the incorporation of related technologies into everyday applications.