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Türkiye to open new chapter in space with launch of 1st indigenous communications satellite

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Turksat 6A’s launch in mid-July to mark new milestone in Türkiye’s presence in space

Türkiye in mid-July will launch the country’s first indigenous communications satellite in line with its National Space Program.

The launching of Turksat 6A will mark a new milestone in the country’s efforts to enter the ranks of countries developing their own communications satellites. Türkiye now stands out as a country capable of manufacturing versatile technologies, ranging from defense to communication systems.

Türkiye’s efforts in space go back to Jan. 24, 1994, when the country’s first communications satellite test was done, with the launch of Turksat 1A. The project was short-lived due to a malfunction which sent the craft back to earth.

Its successor, Turksat 1B, was launched on Aug. 10, 1994, enabling Türkiye to enter the ranks of countries with satellites in space.

Turksat 1C was launched in July 1996, covering Türkiye, Western Europe, and Central Asia, and it was decommissioned in 2010.

In January 2001, Turksat 2A was launched to provide domestic and foreign networks and operated until September 2016.

Turksat 3A, 4A, and 4B were launched in 2008, 2011, and 2015, respectively.

In January 2021, Turksat 5A was launched to orbit to operate for 30 years, providing a wider coverage, ranging to North Africa, Central West Africa, and South Africa, in addition to Europe and the Middle East.

Turksat 5B was launched that December, boosting Türkiye’s satellite capacity more than 15 times. It was one of the country’s most powerful satellites, providing a wide coverage area including the entire Middle East, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean, North and East Africa, Nigeria, South Africa, and neighboring countries.

As for Turksat 6A, the craft was sent to the US on June 4, and it is scheduled to be launched to orbit in mid-July.

The country’s first indigenous communications satellite will provide services to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and most of Asia.

In addition to communications satellites, Türkiye boasts observation and intelligence satellites.

Türkiye’s first remote sensing satellite, Bilsat, was put into orbit in 2003, in collaboration with a UK-based firm.

The country’s first observation satellite was Rasat, launched in 2011, and the first indigenous observation satellite is Imece, launched in April 2023.

The Gokturk-1 and Gokturk-2 satellites, used for high-resolution intelligence, were launched in 2012 and 2016, respectively.

Source: TRT World

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