SpaceX will launch Turkey’s first domestically produced communications satellite, Türksat 6A, in 2023.
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure said it awarded SpaceX a contract for the launch of Turksat 6A, scheduled for Q1 2023.
In a government statement, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu said the government considered “many launcher companies” before selecting SpaceX, “which offers the best solution in terms of both technical, administrative and financial aspects.”
The project will make Turkey one of the 10 countries that can produce its own communications satellite, he underlined.
Turksat 6A will be the country’s first communications satellite built domestically by the TÜBİTAK Space Technologies Research Institute. The spacecraft will operate from 42 degrees east with a payload of Ku- and X-band transponders.
Karaismailoğlu said assembly of the satellite is scheduled to be completed before the end of the year, with the satellite finishing environmental testing by the end of 2022.
Previously, the Türksat 5A satellite was also launched by SpaceX in January 2021. The satellite secured Turkey’s orbital rights for the next 30 years, covering Europe, the Middle East and large regions of Africa as well as the Mediterranean, the Aegean and the Black Sea region.
A Falcon 9 launched Turksat 5A in January and Turksat 5B is scheduled for launch in the fourth quarter of 2021. Both Turksat 5A and 5B were built by Airbus Defence and Space.