Turkey’s Tech Minister Lauds Beginning of New Era in Space for the Nation

Turkey marked a new chapter in its space science and technology journey as its first astronaut, Alper Gezeravci, returned from a mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Speaking at Gezeravci’s arrival ceremony, Turkey’s Industry and Technology Minister, Mehmet Fatih Kacir, highlighted the significance of the mission and how it marked the start of Turkey’s ambitious space exploration journey.

During his mission at the ISS, Gezeravci successfully completed 13 scientific experiments prepared by Turkish scientists. These experiments revolved around the impacts of microgravity on human health, physiology, and the immune system. The mission garnered substantial gains for Turkish scientists working across various disciplines, including biology, medicine, genetics, physics, and materials science.

Kacir expressed that the mission’s greatest achievement was its inspirational impact on Turkish youth and children, fostering self-confidence and interest in space exploration. The Minister also outlined Turkey’s future goals in space science and technology, emphasizing continuous research, international cooperation, and preparation for future astronaut missions.

Turkey aims to leverage the outcomes of this mission to further its space science research. Future plans include the establishment of a space technology development zone in Ankara, aimed at expanding Turkey’s share in the global space economy, which currently stands at $600 billion annually. The country also aims to maintain independent access to space programs, continue developing launch rockets, and establish a spaceport by 2030 through international cooperation.

Turkey’s lunar ambitions were also laid out, with plans to land a domestically designed and built spacecraft on the moon, propelled by a nationally developed system. The country also plans to achieve strategic gains in technological independence across defense and civilian sectors by realizing a regional positioning and timing system project.

Completing the Eastern Anatolia Observatory Project is another priority, which would give Turkey the most advanced telescope in its region. Turkey’s first astronaut, Gezeravci, echoed the country’s ambitious plans by stating that Turkey will earn its deserved share in space activities.

Gezeravci was part of the Axiom-3 Mission, alongside Italian, Spanish, and Swedish astronauts. The mission, launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, saw the crew carry out over 30 scientific experiments during their two-week stay at the ISS. The mission concluded successfully with a splashdown off the coast of Florida.

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