SpaceX launches Turksat 5B communications satellite

SpaceX launches Turksat 5B communications satellite

SpaceX launches Turksat 5B communications satellite

Turksat 5B, Turkey’s new telecommunication satellite, was launched on Dec. 19 by U.S. aerospace company SpaceX.

The satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the U.S. state of Florida to geostationary transfer orbit, where it will use onboard electric thrusters to provide high throughput band services over Turkey, the Middle East, and parts of Africa.

The satellite will reach its orbital slot of 42 degrees East longitude in 164 days, then a 45-day test process will begin.

Ordered from European manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space in 2017 and transferred from France to the U.S. on Nov. 29, the satellite will increase the country’s Ka-band capacity by over fifteenfold.

The satellite, which is equipped with a new-generation electric-powered impulsion system, is expected to last more than 35 years.

On Sept. 17, the Turkish government announced that SpaceX will launch Turksat 6A, Turkey’s first domestically built communications satellite, in the first quarter of 2023.

On Dec. 16, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a video call with Elon Musk, the founder of Space X, and discussed the launch process. Turkey currently has eight active satellites with Turksat 5B.