Home SPECIAL COVERAGES National Space Program Announced: Goals are to Reach the Moon by 2023 and to Send the First Turkish Citizen into Space

National Space Program Announced: Goals are to Reach the Moon by 2023 and to Send the First Turkish Citizen into Space

by MSI

Alper ÇALIK / a.calik@milscint.com

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the launch of Turkey’s National Space Programme at a ceremony held on 9 February. Speaking at the ceremony, President Erdoğan said, “The goals we will announce are not merely a product of our imagination; they are the natural progression following our achievements in aerospace technologies to date,” and listed 10 goals for the National Space Programme, which will be carried out under the leadership of the Turkish Space Agency (TUA).

The goals are listed as follows:

  1. Touching down on the Moon for the first time with a hard landing on the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey, followed by a soft landing in 2028.
  2. Creating a trademark that can compete in the global arena in the field of next-generation satellite development.
  3. Developing a regional positioning and timing system that will belong to Turkey.
  4. Providing access to space and establishing a spaceport business.
  5. Investing in the fields defined as “space weather and meteorology” to increase Turkey’s competence in space.
  6. Rendering Turkey more competent in astronomical observations and in the ground-based tracking of space objects.
  7. Further developing the ecosystem of Turkey’s aerospace industry.
  8. Establishing a Space Technology Development Zone.
  9. Developing effective and competent human resources in space studies.
  10. Sending a Turkish citizen into space.
A video showing the planned projects of the Turkish Space Agency was also shown at the event.

Foundations for New Collaborations

During the ceremony, stakeholders from the public, academic and private sectors signed four protocols and contracts related to the works to be carried out for the implementation of the National Space Program. First, the “Protocol on the Establishment of a National Satellite Production Company” under the coordination of TUA was signed between Turkish Aerospace, Turksat and TÜBİTAK Space by Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım, TUA President; Prof. Dr. Hasan Mandal, TÜBİTAK President; Prof. Dr. Temel Kotil, President and CEO of Turkish Aerospace; and Hasan Hüseyin Ertok, CEO of Turksat. The protocol aims to bring satellite production activities in Turkey under one umbrella.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Secondly, the “Protocol for Scientific and Technological Cooperation in the Field of Aerospace Technologies” between TUA and Istanbul Technical University (ITU), was signed by TUA President Yıldırım and Prof. Dr. İsmail Koyuncu, Rector of ITU, paving the way for space operation centre studies and collaborations in the field of aerospace technologies, and especially in Fusion Energy System Research (FESR). 

The ceremony saw four important agreements being signed for projects to be implemented under the National Space Program.

Next, the “Enhanced X-Ray Timing and Polarimetry Satellite Wide Area Surveillance Application Software Project Agreement” was signed between TUA, Sabancı University and TÜBİTAK Space, inked by TUA President Yıldırım, Prof. Dr. Yusuf Leblebici, President of Sabancı University; and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mesut Gökten, Acting Director of TÜBİTAK UZAY Institute.   

A video showing the planned projects of the Turkish Space Agency was also shown at the event.

The final signing at the event was for the “Joint R&D and Technology Development Studies and Cooperation Protocol in the Space Technology Development Zone”, to be established by TUA, Middle East Technical University (METU), and METU Technopolis. The protocol was signed by TUA President Yıldırım; Prof. Dr. Mustafa Verşan Kök, President of METU; and Serdar Raşit Alemdar, General Manager of METU Technopolis. 

During the event, the new logo of TUA was also unveiled.

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