Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a 10-year space programme for his country that includes missions to the moon, sending Turkish astronauts into space and developing internationally viable satellite systems.
Erdogan announced the programme, seen as part of his vision for placing Turkey in expanded regional and global role, during a live televised event.
Detailing a two-phase mission, Erdogan said: “The first rough landing will be made on the moon with our national and authentic hybrid rocket that shall be launched into orbit in the end of 2023 through international cooperation.
“Our primary and most important goal for our national space programme is the contact of the Republic, in its 100th year, with the moon. God willing, we are going to the moon.”
Erdogan also declared Turkey’s aim to send Turkish citizens into space with international cooperation, to work with other countries on building a spaceport and to create a “global brand” in satellite technology.
“I hope that this roadmap, which will carry Turkey to the top league in the global space race, will come to life successfully,” he said.
Turkey established the Turkish Space Agency, or TUA, in 2018, with the aim of joining the handful of other countries with space programmes.
Erdogan did not provide details on how Turkey plans to achieve its goals.
In January, Turkey launched its Turksat 5A satellite into orbit from the United States in cooperation with SpaceX. Turksat 5B satellite is planned to be launched in the second quarter of 2021.