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2004-06-04 19:14:40

    Taipei, June 4 (CNA) ROCSAT-2 has sent back its first batch of test photos, with better-than-expected results, the National Space Program Office (NSPO) reported Friday.

    NSPO officials said that the ROCSAT-2 satellite successfully transmitted one color and one monochrome photograph of an area of western Taiwan covering an area 24 km wide and 324 km long stretching from Hsinchu Harbor down to Kaohsiung harbor.

    The test pictures came one month ahead of the scheduled time, to the delight of the office staff, although they said that it will take some time to make adjustments so that the pictures can be sold.

    National Science Council Chairman Wu Mao-kun joined the NSPO team at its office to open champagne to celebrate the successful transmission of the photos.

    He expressed his appreciation to the NSPO team and announced the formal start of ROCSAT-2's five-year mission.

    ROCSAT-2 was launched into orbit from the Vandenberg air force base in California May 20, and after 12 days of flight, reached its orbit 891 km above Earth.

    Passing over Taiwan twice daily, ROCSAT-2 will regularly collect information and data for use in several areas, including agriculture and forestry, natural disaster evaluation, environmental monitoring, education, and fostering international cooperation in various scientific research projects and activities. In addition to its remote sensing mission, ROCSAT-2 will also investigate upper atmospheric lighting phenomena.

    The successful launch of ROCSAT-2 and its observance of upper atmospheric lighting phenomena have received a write-up in the prestigious science magazine Nature.

(By Lilian Wu)


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