SpaceX launches Taiwanese satellite, lands rocket stage
The satellite is the first to be fully designed by Taiwan's space agency
An Earth-observation satellite for Taiwan's National Space Organization has been launched from California.
The Formosat-5 satellite lifted off from coastal Vandenberg Air Force Base at 11:51 a.m. PDT on Thursday atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceX successfully landed the rocket's first stage on a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean while the second stage continued toward orbit and deployed the satellite.
Successful deployment of FORMOSAT-5 to low-Earth orbit confirmed. <a href="https://t.co/PiB7r3Zk4F">pic.twitter.com/PiB7r3Zk4F</a>—@SpaceX
The satellite is the first to be fully designed by Taiwan's space agency and is intended to advance the nation's space technology and scientific research while providing global imagery with a wide array of uses.
Its main instrument is a sensor that produces high-resolution black-and-white and colour images.