Taiwan's National Space Program Office has opted for the Orbital Sciences (OSC) Taurus rocket to launch the Rocsat-2 remote sensing satellite.

Rocsat, built by Europe's Astrium and scheduled for launch in 2003, will observe and monitor Taiwan's terrestrial and marine environment and its natural resources, its remote islands and surrounding ocean.

The Taurus rocket is a four-stage, ground-launched vehicle derived from the firm's Pegasus air-launched satellite booster. Since its debut in 1994, Taurus has flown five successful missions.

For the Rocsat 2 mission, OSC will provide the higher-performance XL version of the Taurus rocket. The Taurus XL incorporates the first two stages of the Pegasus XL vehicle, while the original Taurus configuration incorporates the first and second stages of a standard Pegasus rocket.

Source: Flight International