SpaceX has a launch scheduled for today, with a 42 minute launch window opening at 11:51 AM PDT (2:51 PM EDT).
A drawing by junior high school student Chu Chia-yin (朱嘉尹) will ride a rocket into space Friday when the Falcon 9 delivers Taiwan's FormoSat-5 satellite into orbit.
Vandenberg Air Force Base will launch a rocket carrying an earth observation satellite on Thursday, August 24. SpaceX said it will plan to land the first stage of the Falcon on its drone ship "Just Read the Instructions" in the Pacific. "The program's mission is to promote space science experiments and research, to enhance Taiwan's self-reliant space technology capabilities, and to continue to serve the users of FORMOSAT-2's global imagery services".
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SpaceX is not a country, but if it were the company would be tied with Russian Federation for the most orbital launches of 2017.
The drawing, which was selected two years ago in a competition for elementary school students in Taiwan, depicts a Formosan blue magpie wearing a space suit, against a background of rice fields, orchids and the iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper. The satellite also carries a secondary Advanced Ionospheric Probe instrument built by Taiwan's National Central University.
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