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In early 2001, the National Space Program Office (NSPO) of Taiwan, Republic of China, selected Orbital for a $56 million contract for the ROCSAT-3/COSMIC (Republic of China Satellite / Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate) program. ROCSAT was renamed FORMOSAT in December 2004.

The FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC program is an international collaboration between Taiwan and the United States that will use a constellation of six remote sensing microsatellites to collect atmospheric data for weather prediction and for ionosphere, climate and gravity research. Data from the satellites will be made freely available to the international scientific community in near real-time.

Orbital will be responsible for constellation design and analysis, development of the spacecraft bus, payload instrument development and oversight of components made by Taiwan local vendors. Orbital will also provide assistance with system integration, satellite integration and testing in Taiwan, early in-orbit checkout, satellite positioning and mission operations. The project builds on the Orbital-built and launched OrbView-1 satellite, which was deployed in 1995 and still operates today (2003).

The satellites were retired in April 2020.

Nation: Taiwan (Republic of China), USA
Type / Application: Earth observation
Operator: NSPO / USAF STP (Space Test Program)
Contractors: Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC)
Configuration: MicroStar
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 5 years (design); 14 years (achieved)
Mass: 70 kg
Orbit: 700 km × 700 km, 72
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
FORMOSAT 3A (COSMIC 1, S00-8) (ex ROCSAT 3A) 2006-011B 15.04.2006 Va SLC-8 Minotaur-1 with FORMOSAT 3B, 3C, 3D, 3E, 3F
FORMOSAT 3B (COSMIC 2, S00-8) (ex ROCSAT 3B) 2006-011F 15.04.2006 Va SLC-8 Minotaur-1 with FORMOSAT 3A, 3C, 3D, 3E, 3F
FORMOSAT 3C (COSMIC 3, S00-8) (ex ROCSAT 3C) 2006-011D 15.04.2006 Va SLC-8 Minotaur-1 with FORMOSAT 3A, 3B, 3D, 3E, 3F
FORMOSAT 3D (COSMIC 4, S00-8) (ex ROCSAT 3D) 2006-011E 15.04.2006 Va SLC-8 Minotaur-1 with FORMOSAT 3A, 3B, 3C, 3E, 3F
FORMOSAT 3E (COSMIC 5, S00-8) (ex ROCSAT 3E) 2006-011C 15.04.2006 Va SLC-8 Minotaur-1 with FORMOSAT 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 3F
FORMOSAT 3F (COSMIC 6, S00-8) (ex ROCSAT 3F) 2006-011A 15.04.2006 Va SLC-8 Minotaur-1 with FORMOSAT 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 3E


Further COSMIC missions:
Further STP missions:

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