President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced 10 goals as he revealed the country’s domestic space programme for the next 10 years, which will include the country's first national observation satellite.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has unveiled an ambitious 10-year space program for his country that includes missions to the moon, sending Turkish astronauts into space and developing internationally viable satellite systems.
Erdogan announced the program, seen as part of his vision for placing Turkey in expanded regional and global role, during a live televised event laced with special effects.
He said Turkey planned to establish “a first contact with the moon” in 2023, when the country marks the centennial of the founding of the Republic of Turkey.
The first stage of the mission would be “through international cooperation,” while the second stage would utilise Turkish rockets, Erdogan said.
“Our primary and most important goal for our national space program is the contact of the Republic, in its 100th year, with the moon,” the Turkish leader said. “God willing, we are going to the moon.”
Erdogan also declared Turkey’s aim to send Turkish citizens into space with international cooperation, to work with other countries on building a spaceport and to create a “global brand” in satellite technology.
“I hope that this roadmap, which will carry Turkey to the top league in the global space race, will come to life successfully,” he said.
Turkey established the Turkish Space Agency, or TUA, in 2018, with the aim of joining the handful of other countries with space programs.
The program, prepared by the Turkish Space Agency and led by the Industry and Technology Ministry, was announced at Bestepe National Congress and Culture Centre in the capital Ankara.
Turkey previously launched reconnaissance and communication satellites set up a satellite systems integration and test center and manufactured a domestic HD satellite called IMECE which is expected to be launched in 2022.
Erdogan said the programme also included Gokturk-3 which would be able provide high-resolution images in all conditions.
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Erdogan said two satellites have been launched into space already, a communication satellite, Turksat 5A, and an intelligence satellite, Gokturk 2.
High-resolution provider Gokturk 3 will be sent soon and Turksat 6A is set to launch in 2022.
Last month, he and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk spoke by telephone and discussed cooperation on space technologies with Turkish companies.
Goals of programme
Unveiling the programme, President Erdogan also outlined its primary objectives saying the "primary and most important goal in the National Space Program is to make the first contact with the Moon in the 100th anniversary of the republic."
We will realise the first launch that will bring our spacecraft into close orbit with international cooperation. "At the end of 2023, we will reach the Moon with our national and unique hybrid rocket that we will fire in near-Earth orbit and have a hard landing," he added.
"Our second goal in the National Space Program is to create a trademark that can compete with the world in the field of next-generation satellite development ''
In the second stage we planned in 2028, we will take our vehicle into a close orbit, and we will make the first launch with these national rockets."
The third goal in the National Space Program is to develop a regional positioning and timing system."
The fourth objective is to provide access to space and establish a spaceport."
The next goal is to increase competence in space by investing in what is called space weather or meteorology."
The sixth target is setting up astronomical observation posts and to bring Turkey to a higher level when it comes to tracking space objects from the ground."
Seventh goal is to further develop the economy of the country's space industry."
The next goal in our space program is to establish a space technology development zone."
The ninth goal is to develop our effective and competent human resources in the field of space."
The tenth and final goal in the Space Program is to send a Turkish citizen to space," Erdogan said.