WORLDSIDE SPACE RACE- TAIWAN’S PLACE & CURRENT DEVELOPMENT

by Han-Ru Xie

Space technology is a field in which countries all over the world compete, and Taiwan is no exception and cannot be left behind, given its strength in science and technology.

The first hybrid rocket with navigation-controlled system launched

On July 9 2022, Taiwan’s first satellite-like vehicle rocket HTTP-3A was successfully launched in Mudan Xuhai Village in Pingtung County. This rocket is also the world’s first hybrid rocket with a navigation control system. Carrying out the first test flight directed by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), the team at the Advanced Rocket Research Center (ARRC) from National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University tested the hybrid rocket with its control and propulsion, flight navigation, ground support, and the parachute recovery system.

Hybrid rockets are relatively more economical compared to solid or liquid propellant ones. They also feature flight navigation control, thus becoming the focus of development in Taiwan’s space technology. The test took about 2 minutes and the flight altitude reached 3 kilometers. Although the flight time was not long and the altitude was not high, it was still major breakthrough.

MIT Triton satellite to be Launched Next Year

Recently, the second satellite that is made in Taiwan- Triton, has completed its assembly. It is expected to be launched at the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, using a Vega-C launch vehicle provided by Arianespace SA.

Triton is the second satellite made by Taiwan after FORMOSAT-5, consisting of efforts from over 20 units and manufacturers who designed and manufactured 10 key components and technologies, making a proportion of self-made components as high as 82%.

Robot programming challenge- enthusiasts from the world over

Organized by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the 3rd KIBO RPC Robotics Challenge had its preliminary throughout the world, and a team from National Taiwan University (NTU) had won the ticket to the finals held in Japan, where all participants will have the chance to remotely control a robot serving at an international space station.

In the competition, all teams must write a program to control the Astrobee robot in the outer space to move around with precision and use laser to complete designated tasks. Due to the high technical threshold, the competition went down to 7 teams submitting their finished program. After competing for over 4 hours, team KIBO la na tsu bu KIBO from NTU stood out and won the championship.

Conclusion

Taiwan, as a world-renowned island for its science and technology, has its strength in both software and hardware. The MoST has also been planning the establishment of the National Space Organization (NSPO) as an administrative corporation. It is believed that with the cooperation between the government and the private sector, Taiwan can one day own a place high in the sky.

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