SpaceX to launch Turkish satellites as Turkey, Airbus ink deal
Turkey signed an agreement with Airbus Defense and Space on Nov. 9 for the production of Türksat 5A and Türksat 5B communications satellites.
The Türksat 5A and 5B satellites will be launched by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said.
“Our friends decided to launch our satellites with the Falcon 9 rockets of Airbus’ subcontractor, SpaceX,” Arslan said at the 3rd Global SatShow, during which top representatives from Türksat and Airbus clinched the deal.
The agreement to build and launch satellites will be worth around $500 million, Türksat Chair Vecdi Gönül said during his speech at the same event.
In October, Airbus submitted the best bid to build the satellites. The 5A satellite will be launched in 2020 and the 5B in 2021.
A significant part of production will be undertaken by Türksat engineers “through local means” in cooperation with Airbus, according to Turkish officials.
The production of satellites is planned to start immediately after the agreement is signed.
Elon Musk, the chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc. and aerospace company SpaceX, met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara on Nov. 8 and discussed cooperation between Tesla, SpaceX and Turkish firms.
Musk’s SpaceX plans a manned mission to Mars by 2024 and also aims to produce a rocket capable of carrying passengers from one continent to another in less than an hour.