‘Turkey to launch 17 satellites by 2020’

‘Turkey to launch 17 satellites by 2020’

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Turkey: The Turkish government has devised an ambitious road map for the country’s multiple satellite programmes through 2020.

According to the road map, a total of 17 Turkish satellites will come into orbit by 2020. A space industry expert based in Turkey said the next five years’ satellite contracts would amount to USD 2 billion. “This is a niche market with strong prospects due to Turkey’s genuine ambitions in space technology,” he said.

According to the road map, Turkey will this year launch the Göktürk II, an electro optical reconnaissance and observation satellite. Göktürk I as well as Türksat 4A, a communications satellite, will be launched in 2013. Türksat 4B will be launched in 2014 and Türksat 4R in 2015 along with the Göktürk III, a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) reconnaissance and observation satellite. 2016 will see an infrared early warning satellite sent into orbit, along with the Türksat 5A communications satellite. In 2017, Türksat 5B and a second infrared satellite will be launched. The electro optical Göktürk IV and two more infrared satellites will be put in orbit in 2018, and yet two more infrared satellites will be launched in 2019. In 2020 Turkey will launch its second SAR Göktürk V.

The road map comes after the government set up a Space Technologies Directorate under the supervision of the Transport Ministry last November. Officials said this office will later become the country’s first National Space Agency.

There is a multitude of space actors in Turkey, but experts hope efforts will be better coordinated with the establishment of the National Space Agency. Current organisations include the State Planning Organisation, the Ministry of Transportation, the communications satellite operator Türksat, the state scientific research institute Tübitak and the defense procurement agency the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries.

Tübitak cooperates with the Federal Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, German aerospace centre DLR, Britain’s space agency BNSC and the Netherlands space office NSO.

Defense companies Aselsan, Roketsan and Turkish Aerospace Industries, as well as three universities, are also involved in space programmes.

Source: Daily News