Pocket satellite Grizu-263A, designed by a group of young Turkish scientists, is expected to operate in a low earth orbit of roughly 525 kilometres for about five years.
Turkiye's first mini satellite Grizu-263A designed by the Grizu-263 Space Team has been launched into space on a SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.
Thursday's launch took place in Cape Canaveral, Florida where the United States shares its Space Force Station.
The satellite emitted its first signals, its developer said.
"Our satellite is alive!!!"
"Pride. We designed, manufactured, tested and launched into space. Now our satellite, Grizu-263A, is on its duty safe and sound," space team captain Cagla Aytac Dursun said.
The satellite will operate for nearly five years in a low earth orbit.
Established in 2016 by the students of the Engineering Faculty at Zonguldak Bulent Ecevit University in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak, Grizu-263 aims to work on space and satellite technologies and participate in international competitions.
The team was named after a firedamp explosion that killed 263 miners in the Kozlu district in 1992. The Turkish word for "firedamp" is "grizu".
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Turkiye’s first mini satellite Grizu-263A was launched into space by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Florida, US, on January 13 pic.twitter.com/1x41pCLOOm— TRT World (@trtworld) January 13, 2022
Erdogan congratulates launch
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the launch of the mini-satellite.
"I congratulate our young people, teachers and supporting institutions that showed the success of taking part in this project that was the first from Turkiye," Erdogan said on Twitter.
The team that developed the Grizu-263A mini-satellite had won first prize in Turkiye's largest technology and aviation festival Teknofest in 2019, Erdogan said.
The team has also received two second placed finishes in competitions sponsored by NASA.