Homegrown weather satellite could be launched in first quarter of next year: minister

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Taipei, July 20 (CNA) Triton, Taiwan’s second locally-built weather satellite, could be launched as early as the first quarter of 2023, Science and Technology Minister Wu Tsung-tsong (吳政忠) said on Wednesday.

“Over the past 30 years, Taiwan has conducted relevant scientific research, strengthened its space technology and nurtured a talent pool,” Wu said at a press conference held to explain the task given to Triton, who was preceded by FormoSat-5. .

He added that the country has in recent years “begun to explore business opportunities in the field”.

The budget allocated to the National Space Organization (NSPO) is expected to exceed NT$5 billion ($167 million) next year, an increase of NT$1 billion from this year, according to Wu.

Lin Chen-tsung (林辰宗), an NSPO expert responsible for the Triton project, said 82 percent of the weather satellite’s parts and components were designed and manufactured locally, with the process involving more than 20 Taiwanese companies and scientists.

After being fully outfitted, Triton – also known as “Wind Hunter” (獵風者) in Chinese – will undergo tests before being lifted off and launched by a Vega-C rocket developed by French company Arianespace SA in Guiana Space Center in French. Guyana.

Professor Yang Shu-Chih (楊舒芝) of National Central University, a researcher studying how to improve extreme weather forecasting, said the data Triton was designed to retrieve regarding sea surface wind speed could be used to improve weather and climate forecasts.

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