Turkey will cooperate with other countries on space mission
The general manager of Turkey’s Space Agency has said the country will launch its space mission with the support of other countries when it sends an astronaut into space as it is not a partner country to the International Space Station (ISS).
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan unveiled a national space program on Feb. 9 in the capital Ankara, vowing to send an astronaut into space in 2023, which will mark 100 years since the birth of the Turkish republic.
“We need to be in space. We are doomed to be poor if we do not go into space,” said Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım on Feb. 15, adding that the country will not be doing it with its own means.
With targets to land a rover on Moon’s surface in 2028, Yıldırım said, “As a first step, we want to enter outer space in 2023. But we do not have that capacity for 2023 or 2025.”
Yıldırım added that Turkey could work in an international cooperation to make a spaceship, without, however, naming any country.
Erdoğan on Feb. 9 said a rough landing will be made on the Moon with a “national and authentic” hybrid rocket, and in 2028, an initial launching will be made with Turkey’s own rockets.
“We do not plan a manned mission to space in the first decade,” said Yıldırım.
“Manned missions are risky. We are not ready for this at the moment,” said Yıldırım.
“However, we have a plan to send a Turkish astronaut to the ISS.”
As Turkey is not a partner country to the ISS, the country will need a partner country’s support to do so.
The U.S., the U.K., Russia, Japan, Canada, Brazil and 10 countries of the European Space Agency are participating countries of the ISS.
“More than 560 people went to space. None was a Turkish citizen. We want to do it. We will send our astronaut on a partner country’s quota,” he added.
He said Turkey must “leave a trace on the Moon” to “have a say” on matters happening on Earth.
“Turkey started space works more than 20 years ago. But a space agency has just been established. We have lost enough time.”
The Turkish Space Agency was formally established by a presidential decree on Dec. 13, 2018.