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Taiwan Launches Indigenous Weather Satellite “Triton” Marking Milestone in Space Endeavors

Taiwan celebrates the successful launch of its domestically-produced Triton satellite, a significant stride in its pursuit of global space capabilities. The satellite, focused on monitoring typhoon-prone ocean regions, underscores Taiwan's growing presence in the space race
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Taiwan has achieved a significant milestone in its space ambitions with the successful launch of its first indigenous weather satellite, Triton, also known as “Wind Hunter.” Sent into space aboard a Vega rocket by French launch company Arianespace on October 9, Triton is designed to observe oceanic areas susceptible to extreme weather, particularly typhoons. The satellite’s name pays homage to the Greek god Triton, who commanded the wind and waves.

Taiwan’s space industry, identified as one of the nation’s six core strategic industries, has been steadily gaining ground despite international isolation due to Chinese pressures. The Taiwan Space Agency (TASA) is currently hosting the largest-ever international space exhibition, emphasizing Taiwan’s emergence as a contender in the global space science, technology, and industry arena.

Triton, boasting a domestically-produced ratio of 82%, including 11 key components, has successfully entered orbit, launched its payload, and is in optimal condition. This achievement reaffirms Taiwan’s prowess in satellite design and manufacturing. President Tsai Ing-wen emphasized Triton’s significance, highlighting Taiwan’s capacity not only in semiconductors and precision manufacturing but also in entering the global space industry.

TASA Deputy Director Vicky Chung-huei Chu explained that Triton utilizes global navigation satellite system-reflectometry (GNSS-R) to collect vital information on wind speeds at the sea surface—a previously scarce dataset. Weighing 250 kilograms, Triton was crafted by TASA over an eight-year period and will play a pivotal role in enhancing typhoon and extreme weather predictions.

Taiwan’s space endeavors are poised for expansion with plans for an optical Earth observation satellite constellation, a synthetic aperture radar satellite constellation, an experimental “beyond 5G” satellite constellation, and experimental multifunctional hybrid rockets.

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