‘We will make first contact with the Moon in 2023’ – those were the words spoken by President Erdogan last week when he was discussing Turkey’s role in the global space race.
Acknowledging that they are behind their counterparts such as Russia & the USA, he was quick to mention that they have a very strong 10 year vision ahead plus an investment of 2.1bn Turkish Lisa provided for project enhancements in Space, Satellite Systems & Equipment.
The TUA (Turkish Space Agency) was established in 2018, and under the current plans there will be two stages to the proposed moon landing – the first in 2023 with be via an authentic hybrid rocket built with international help & the second in 2028 will be via Turkey’s own rocket, with a mission of landing a probe on the surface, to help with international research.
Currently, Turkey has to rely quite heavily on foreign dependency when it comes to satellite production & development and Meteorology, but this is due to change as well, enhancing competitiveness and Turkey’s ability to produce satellites & the technology themselves under the single authority of the TUA. Erdogan announced that with these new systems, it will ‘pave the way to develop our own precise navigation applications in defence, agriculture, urbanization and autonomous vehicles’.
As part of their international co-operation, and as part of their significant movements into the ‘Space Age’ Turkey have already produced a high-resolution space camera, a new generation flight computer, electric engine, reaction wheel and sun-sensor.
In terms of putting ‘A man on the moon’, this is the ultimate goal and with plans to ‘develop effective and competent human resources in the field of Space’ it won’t be long before a Turkish Citizen is there, carrying out scientific missions.