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Bill to Set Up Taiwan’s National Space Centre

To a large degree, a space centre can augment ICT capabilities significantly. Knowing how much such a technological advancement can benefit the country, the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee of Taiwan approved a preliminary review of a bill to establish a national space centre.

The committee granted the draft national space centre establishment act “nondepartmental public body status.” Moreover, if passed, it would charge the Ministry of Science and Technology with heading up the planning and execution of national projects regarding aerospace technology.

The importance of a space program for the advancement of technology cannot be overemphasised. The sector is one of the nation’s six strategic industries as defined by the government, and its development would help improve national security, economic development, public welfare and the advancement of technology in Taiwan, Minister of Science and Technology Wu Cheng-chung disclosed in a report to the committee.

An example is the use of satellites. Satellite-based broadband has a critical role to play in increasing the reach and resilience of connectivity to improve access to the online world. In their initial draft, the legislators have outlined how the centre should operate. Some of its key definitions are:

  • The centre would be tasked with augmenting the nation’s Research and Development (R&D) capabilities for aerospace technology and consult the government on creating aerospace policies
  • The centre would also lead negotiations on space technology transfers and usage, as well as facilitate international collaborations, based on changes proposed by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Hsiu-pao during the review
  • The centre is to push for the development of Taiwan’s aerospace industry and provide technical assistance to related industries, and consultation on the drafting of laws to govern the industry, according to the updated draft
  • The centre would also be in charge of selecting sites for rocket launches, reviewing and authorising applications for launches, and registering launch vehicles
  • The centre would also oversee efforts to foster talent in aerospace engineering, promote the education of space science and handle assorted affairs related to space

However, the plan to create a scape centre for Taiwan is still in its infancy. While its technological contributions can certainly be massive, the project would need substantial funding and effort to materialise. In short, it can be a largely protracted process. At the onset, legislators were undecided about the ratio of the centre’s board members and supervisors. They decided it’s an issue they are to address in cross-caucus discussions which can lengthen the process.

The logistics involved alone of a space launch can be daunting. To note, the last time America had sent someone on the moon was in 1972. Then, powerful Saturn V rockets, which are no longer produced today, had to be built to make it happen.

Nonetheless, Taiwan has faced similar cases of daunting odds before. When it started, the country now known as the semiconductor basket of the world was not the biggest exported of chips on the planet. With dedication, it s surpassed everyone else to be the top chip manufacturer. Today, the island nation continually pushes boundaries to improve its semiconductor market. Just recently Taiwan’s researchers worked with UCLA to accomplish a next-gen ICT MRAM chips, better memory chips for PCs. The work is definitely groundbreaking, putting the country ahead in its digital transformation.

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