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Turksat 6A launches: Türkiye’s first domestic satellite begins journey

Turksat 6A launches: Türkiye's first domestic satellite begins journey Türkiye's first made communications satellite, Turksat 6A, launches from Florida, United States, July 8, 2024 (AA Photo)
By Selin Hacialioglu
Jul 9, 2024 2:59 PM

Türkiye’s first domestically produced communication satellite, Turksat 6A, began its space journey Tuesday.

The launch took place at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, U.S., using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Weather conditions caused an initial delay, but the launch occurred at 2:30 a.m. Turkish time.

Successful launch, initial signal reception of Turkish satellite

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloglu announced the successful launch, stating, “We successfully received the first signal from our satellite as planned, at the 67th minute.” The satellite reached its temporary orbit approximately 70 minutes after separating from the rocket.

Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz, present at the launch ceremony, emphasized the significance of this event. He said, “We are witnessing another historic day. These moves in defense and space studies not only increase our security but also contribute to the creation of a higher value-added economy. Our Turksat 6A project is part of our goal to create a high-value, science-based economy.”

Development and capabilities of Turksat 6A

Turksat 6A was developed by Turkish engineers with an 80% domestic production rate, consisting of 84 locally manufactured parts. The satellite aims to enhance Türkiye’s communication capabilities, providing extensive services including TV broadcasting and wide coverage areas. It will also serve regions such as India, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, potentially reaching up to 5 billion people.

Sanayi ve Teknoloji Bakani Mehmet Fatih Kacir highlighted Türkiye’s progress in building a robust research and development ecosystem over the past 22 years. He said, “We are constructing a pioneering Türkiye that produces high technology and added value.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the collaboration with SpaceX and its founder, Elon Musk.

He stated, “We are pleased with the strengthening of our cooperation with Elon Musk and SpaceX.”

Future prospects and testing phase of Turkish satellite

The successful launch and reception of the first signal confirm Turksat 6A’s progress toward its objectives. The satellite will undergo a series of tests in its orbit at 42 degrees east longitude before becoming fully operational in about a month.

Kacir emphasized the importance of Türkiye’s advancements in space technology, saying, “We are moving our country forward step by step in the field of space science and technologies.”

With Turksat 6A, Türkiye joins an elite group of nations capable of producing their communication satellites. This accomplishment aligns with Türkiye’s broader ambitions in space, aiming to leverage technological advancements for national benefits. The launch of Turksat 6A marks a significant milestone in Türkiye’s technological and economic development.

Last Updated:  Jul 9, 2024 2:59 PM