Turkey’s National Space Programme Launched

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled on Tuesday Turkey's National Space Programme, a roadmap based on realistic and competitive goals. According to this plan, the country intends to reach the Moon and send a Turkish astronaut under this new programme.

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The launch of the country's national space programme took place at Bestepe National Congress and Culture Center in Ankara. In his speech at the event, Erdogan noted that the program outlines Turkey's 10-year vision, strategies, objectives, and projects on space policies.

"The national space program will carry our country to an upper league in the global space race," the Turkish president emphasised during the introductory meeting in the capital Ankara.

Turkish Space Agency (TUA) developed Turkey's national space programme and it is in charge of running it. President Erdogan said that Turkey is opening the door to the sky journey of its civilization that pioneered justice, morality, and peace in the world for centuries.

"The primary and most important mission of the program is to make the first contact with the Moon in our republic's centennial year [2023]," Erdogan said.

He explained that the goal of reaching the Moon will be completed in two stages. At the first stage, a rough landing would be made on the Moon with a national and authentic hybrid rocket that will be launched into orbit at the end of 2023 through international cooperation. The second stage will be in 2028, here the initial launching, which carried Turkey's probe to orbit, will be made through Turkey's own rockets, he said.

Erdogan added that the goals of this programme are to make the best use of Turkey's breakthroughs in launch, rocket, and control technologies; and to  create a trademark on the new-generation satellite development by gathering satellite production activities under a single authority coordinated by the TUA. More significantly, he noted that Turkey aims to set up a regional positioning and timing system.

"This will pave the way to develop our own precise navigation applications in defence, agriculture, urbanisation, and autonomous vehicles," he said. 

Since Turkey's geographical location is not convenient for establishing the spaceport, it will cooperate with allied countries in the most suitable areas. In addition to the spaceport, a Space Technology Development Region will be established to welcome domestic and foreign investors, Erdogan added.

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