tirsdag 21. mai 2024

Developing Taiwan’s own ‘Starlink’ crucial for island-wide emergency, space agency says

Taiwan’s leaders are working on an ambitious new satellite system to keep the island online in case of disaster, as it deals with the constant threat of hostilities with China. Wu Jong-shinn, director-general of the Taiwan Space Agency (TASA), told CNN in an exclusive interview that Taiwan is at an “experimental development stage” in efforts to build new indigenous communication satellites.

Once the system is up and running, it could work in a similar way to Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite system in providing internet access – albeit at a much smaller scale, said Wu, who has led Taiwan’s space programs since 2021. Starlink, operated by Musk’s SpaceX, uses a network of thousands of satellites to deliver the internet to users all over the world, including areas where conventional connections are unavailable.

It has been used by Ukraine’s military on battlefronts as it defends against Russia’s invasion. In Gaza, devastated by Israel’s war against Hamas, it has allowed staff at a field hospital to conduct real-time video medical consultations.