Gov’t signs deal with US firm to send first Turk to space
The government has signed a deal with Axiom Space, a U.S. space infrastructure developer, for the training and flight service of a Turkish citizen to be sent to space, Industry and Technology Ministry has announced.
Within the scope of the agreement signed between the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBİTAK) and Axiom Space at the International Space Congress held in Paris, the company will assist Türkiye’s efforts to expand space exploration capabilities and create a national space program.
Türkiye started the Turkish Space Traveler and Science Mission project on May 23, aiming to send a Turkish citizen to space, within the scope of the National Space Program.
The company will also enable the Turkish citizen to conduct scientific research in space.
In his post on Twitter elaborating the agreement, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said, “We signed a historic agreement on the first manned space mission that we will carry out on the 100th anniversary of our republic.”
The nomination process of the project initiated within the scope of the national space program prepared by the Turkish Space Agency (TUA) continues under the technical direction of TÜBİTAK, the minister said.
Experimental ideas from universities and research institutions for research to be carried out in the gravity-free environment are being evaluated by a technical committee.
At the congress in Paris, the company also signed deals for manned missions with Italy, Hungary and the United Arab Emirates.
Axiom Space is known as the only full-service orbital mission provider in the commercial space industry to conduct end-to-end manned missions.
In addition to training, the company’s services include mission planning, hardware development, life support, medical support, crew provisions, hardware and safety certifications, on-orbit operations, and mission management.
Candidates will have to complete Axiom’s months-long training curriculum to adapt to living in space.
According to the project, at the end of 2023, Türkiye will reach the moon with the national and original hybrid rocket, which will be fired into near-earth orbit and make a hard landing.
With this program, the country will have the chance to conduct scientific experiments by using the infrastructure of the International Space Station (ISS).
A candidate must be a Turkish citizen, born after May 23, 1977, not have been prohibited from public rights, completed one of the following faculties of engineering, science/basic sciences, or medicine in the field of science with at least four years of undergraduate study at higher education institutions and have complete proficiency in English.
They will also need to undergo a medical examination and pass the height and weight requirements.
Candidates will be evaluated according to the statements and documents they have entered into the application system. After the initial stage, the applicants will be called in for an interview. Two candidates who pass the two stages will be selected and employed by TUA or TÜBİTAK for ten years.