AUG 25, 2017 7:30 AM PDT

SpaceX Launches Taiwanese Satellite: Formosat-5

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Although SpaceX is a United States-based commercial space company, they still frequently perform space launches for other countries. This Thursday was no different, as SpaceX moved forward with a launch contract they signed with the Taiwanese government back in 2010.

To do so, SpaceX launched a tiny satellite known as the Formosat-5 from Vandenberg Airforce Base, California at approximately 2:51 P.M. Eastern time. The satellite went into orbit to replace the Fermosat-2 satellite that Taiwan retired nearly a year ago.

An image of the domestically-built Taiwanese Fermosat-5 satellite, before launch.

Image Credit: NSPO

Fermosat-5 weighed just over 1,000 pounds, which is incredibly light for a satellite. Moreover, it was the only thing SpaceX packed inside the Falcon 9 rocket’s cargo capsule for Thursday's launch.

Related: SpaceX wants to send Falcon 9 rockets to space every couple of weeks

Unfortunately, SpaceX didn’t have any other cargo they could pack along with the lightweight Fermosat-5 satellite. Instead, it went into space all by its lonesome, costing SpaceX quite a bit of money in the process; nevertheless, a contract is a contract.

The Falcon 9 rocket took off effortlessly from the launch pad with the ultralight payload onboard. Falcon 9 rockets are built to carry significantly heavier cargo, so the result was expected.

A video of the successful rocket launch is available on the SpaceX YouTube channel for your viewing pleasure:

After the Falcon 9 rocket made it to space, approximately 450 miles above the Earth's surface, the first stage returned to the Earth for a controlled landing. It successfully propped itself upright on a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of California.

Notably, this marked SpaceX’s 15th successful Falcon 9 first stage landing.

Related: Read about last year's SpaceX Falcon 9 explosion in Cape Canaveral, Florida

Fermosat-5 is the first indigenously-built satellite by Taiwan’s National Space Organization (NSPO). Just like its predecessor, it's simply a remote sensing satellite that uses its onboard imaging equipment and science equipment to study the Earth.

SpaceX will undoubtedly refurbish the Falcon 9 it sent up into space for this launch, as the rocket hardly exhibited any wear and tear as a result of the ultra-light payload.

Source: Spaceflight Now

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUN 25, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Fast Radio Bursts: The Mysterious Cosmic Signals Just Got More Mysterious
JUN 25, 2020
Fast Radio Bursts: The Mysterious Cosmic Signals Just Got More Mysterious
Since the first discovery thirteen years ago, fast radio bursts (FRBs), a type of short radio pulses, have been fascinat ...
JUN 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Astrophysicists Find Evidence of Nearby Planet that May Sustain Life
JUN 26, 2020
Astrophysicists Find Evidence of Nearby Planet that May Sustain Life
Researchers have found that a nearby red dwarf star, known as Gliese 887, may host three planets, one of which could sus ...
JUL 18, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Closest Ever Images of the Sun Expose Previously Unknown Features
JUL 18, 2020
Closest Ever Images of the Sun Expose Previously Unknown Features
New images from the Solar Orbiter, a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) that launched in Feb ...
SEP 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Discover New Kind Planet- an Ultrahot Neptune
SEP 22, 2020
Scientists Discover New Kind Planet- an Ultrahot Neptune
Scientists have identified a new kind of planet- an ‘ultrahot Neptune’, or a giant exoplanet that orbits its ...
SEP 25, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Colossal Study for the Missing (Anti)Matter
SEP 25, 2020
Colossal Study for the Missing (Anti)Matter
Physicists believe that our observable universe exists in a mirrored configuration: any fundamental particle such as pro ...
OCT 21, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why Some Astronauts Get Blurry Vision After Spaceflight
OCT 21, 2020
Why Some Astronauts Get Blurry Vision After Spaceflight
Researchers from the University of Antwerp in Belgium have found that the fluid surrounding the brain, known as craniosp ...
Loading Comments...