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FORMOSAT-2 Decommissioning after 12-year Services

NSPO 2016/08/19

NSPO announced that FORMOSAT-2 is honorably decommissioning after over 12-year services. NSPO was hosting a farewell ceremony by gathering NARLabs top management, NSPO's operations team and user's representatives to recognize the great contributions achieved by fORMOSAT-2 on 19th August 2016. Launched in May 2004 and designed for 5-year mission life, FORMOSAT-2 was orbiting the Earth and providing services almost 2.5 times of the original mission life. FORMOSAT-2 was suffering a malfunction due to the component aging and failure in late June. After a thoroughly technical investigation and review, NSPO concluded that FORMOSAT-2 has to be decommissioning because of a un-recovery component failure.

Dr. Ching-Hua Lo, President of NARLabs, said "FORMOSAT-2 has produced abundant image and science data during its operations which is definitely a great success satellite program and a milestone with a great accomplishment for Taiwan's space program. I would like to appreciate the domestic and global users, NCKU's ISUAL science team, and NSPO's operations team for their supports and hard efforts to double its mission life for past 12 years."

Director Einer BJORGO and his colleagues in UNOSAT, said via a mail-message "Formosat-2 was a great and reliable resource for United Nations disaster response work, and played an important role in mapping impacts of disasters in Mozambique, the Philippines, Moldava, Uganda, Uruguay, Mauritania, Nepal, Tajikistan, Somalia, and many other locations. UNOSAT first used Formosat-2 imagery in 2006 and continued using it until 2015. This makes Formosat-2 one of our longest-running resources and its absence will be greatly missed. Thank you very much to NSPO and all the people who worked to deliver Formosat-2 data to us through the years. You are very much appreciated!" and; "Be it floods, storm, landslides or earthquakes, Formosat-2 was able to deliver timely and useful imagery. We have benefitted from NSPO's imagery contributions both through the International Charter Space and Major Disasters, as well as bilaterally through in-kind data sharing, making disaster management more efficient and contributing to better coordination."

Director Ichiro Naito, Satellite Applications & Operations Center of JAXA, also expressed his grateful, "On behalf of JAXA, I would like to deliver our appreciation to FORMOSAT-2 and its operation team for their great supports to the Sentinel Asia with emergency observations especially on the occasion of the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 and Kumamoto Earthquake in April 2016. Your prompt supports tremendously helped our DRR activities and also I believe that it showed satellites' capabilities in DRR field and never forget your assistance."

After 12-year operations and services, FORMOSAT-2 has accumulated over 2.5 million images provided to thousands of domestic and international users. With the unique daily revisit capability, FORMOSAT-2 has quick access to disaster areas and can provide continuous monitoring information useful for rescue planning. Taiwan has totally assisted 343 events by providing FORMOSAT-2 images free of charge for humanity relief usage through international organizations including UNOSAT, Sentinel Asia, and International Charter, etc. over its mission life time.