Ankara, Turkey – Turkey launched its Turksat 5A satellite, from a SpaceX base in US, as it aims to provide TV broadcasting and communication services across three continents.
Turkey has dispatched a broadcasting and communication satellite, US advanced rockets and spacecraft manufacturer company SpaceX announced on early Friday.
“With Turksat 5A’s coming into service, we will add the Middle East and Africa Continents to our coverage area in addition to the East and West,” Turkey’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu said.
Following the Turksat 5A satellite, the country will also launch another communication satellite, the Turksat 5B, in June, the minister added.
Satellite to secure Turkey’s orbital rights.
Turkey signed an agreement with Airbus in 2017 for the production of the Turksat 5A and 5B orbiters. The country is also working on the Turksat 6A, which will be produced indigenously.
With a 30-year lifetime, Turkey’s fifth-generation satellite, the Turksat 5A, will have the country’s orbital rights secured, an executive at Airbus told Anadolu Agency.
“Turksat 5A will secure the orbital rights of Turkey,” Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems within Airbus said.
Citing a production contract for the Turksat 5A between Turksat and Airbus Defense and Space, Nasr said efforts to produce the satellite had started immediately after the deal was signed on November 9, 2017.
The satellite launched at 0215 GMT by the US-based technology company SpaceX with a Falcon 9 rocket from the company’s Cape Canaveral base in Florida, according to the private rocket company’s website.
Around 30 minutes later SpaceX confirmed the satellite’s deployment.
“[We have] received the first signal from Turksat 5A satellite,” the minister Karaismailoglu said.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk visited Turkey in November 2017 which opened a door for cooperation on using the company’s rocket launchers.
The liftoff had been planned for June 5, but was postponed.
“Built by Airbus Defense and Space with significant Turkish contributions, the Turkish 5A satellite will provide Ku-band television broadcast services over Turkey, the Middle East, Europe and Africa,” SpaceX’s website said.
The satellite will carry 42 transponders and will be located at a somewhat unused Turkish orbital slot at 31 degrees East.
Karaismailoglu said previously that Turkey’s new communication satellites, including Turksat 5A, 5B and 6A, will make the country more powerful in space.
The UK announced last year that the government supports an Airbus contract worth $500 million to manufacture and deliver two satellites for Turkish communications company Turksat.
UK Export Finance was providing a guarantee to support a loan of $325 million to the Turkish Ministry of Treasury and Finance to enable the purchase.
Turkey’s space mission, launching new communication satellite
Turkey successfully launches 7th satellite into orbit
Expected to have over 30 years of life in orbit, Turkstat 5A is to provide TV broadcasting, data communication services.
Among 30 countries with satellites in space, Turkey’s new communications satellite Turksat 5A has been successfully launched into orbit on Friday.
According to information compiled by Anadolu Agency, Turkey has three communication satellites, namely Turksat 3A, Turksat 4A, Turksat 4B.
It also has three observation satellites – Gokturk-1, Gokturk-2, and Rasat.
The number of Turkey’s active satellites in space will rise to seven when Turksat 5A settles into orbit.
Turkey’s first communication satellite Turksat 1A was launched into orbit on Jan. 24, 1994, but it fell into the ocean 12 minutes after the lift-off due to malfunction in the launcher, and the mission failed.
Maintaining investments in satellite technology, Turkey took its place in space in August 1994 with satellite Turksat 1B.
With its production process and testing stages completed by Airbus D&S, Turksat 5A was delivered to Turksat officials on the ground on October 2, 2020.
After the contract was signed in 2017, the satellite, the production of which started at the Airbus facilities in Toulouse, France, was sent to the Space X launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The first signal from Turksat 5A was received 35 minutes after it was successfully launched into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket taking off from the US East Coast.
Turkstat 5A, equipped with a fully electric propulsion system, will settle in an unused Turkish orbital slot at 31 degrees East after all orbit and subsystem controls are carried out through the stations.
The governance of the satellite will be transferred to the Golbasi Satellite Ground Station in the Turkish capital Ankara and the new satellite will be subjected to performance tests for about a month with commands sent from there.
The satellite is expected to start service in the second half of 2021 and it will secure its frequency and orbit rights in 31 degrees East for 30 years with its orbital maneuvers.
It will provide TV broadcasting and data communication services.
The launch of 5B and 6A communications satellites will come after the 5A satellite.
The Turksat 5B satellite, for which production process and trials are completed, is being planned to be launched into orbit in June.
The Turksat 6A satellite is also expected to be launched into space in 2022, aiming to increase the country’s Ka-band capacity.
Turksat satellites will cover the whole of Europe and Africa, as well as western and southern parts of Asia – excluding Russia and China, including Indonesia.
Rasat: Turkey’s 1st locally made observation satellite
The Rasat observation satellite is the second remote sensing satellite of Space Technologies Institute of Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK Space) after Turkey’s first earth observation satellite Bilsat.
Designed and manufactured in Turkey, the first earth observation satellite Rasat was launched from Russia on August 17, 2011.
Although the original design life of the Rasat satellite was three years, it successfully completed its ninth year in orbit as of August 17, 2020.
The RASAT satellite, in a circular orbit, synchronized with the Sun and at an altitude of 700 kilometers (435 miles), operates with 7.5 meters of monochrome and 15 meters of multiband spatial resolution push-broom camera.
Turkey’s other earth observation satellite Gokturk-1, aimed at meeting the high-resolution image need of the Turkish Armed Forces for target intelligence, was launched in 2016.
Settled at a low altitude earth orbit, the satellite can perform various remote sensing tasks such as monitoring the environment and housing, agricultural yield detection, municipal practices, border control, and cadastral activities for public institutions and organizations.
The life of a 0.5-meter resolution satellite, designed to make exploration at any location in the world without geographical restrictions, is predicted to be seven years.
Gokturk 2: Turkey’s first high-resolution observation/surveillance satellite
Turkey’s first high-resolution observation and surveillance satellite Gokturk 2 was launched on December 18, 2012.
It was a project funded by TUBITAK and conducted by the Turkish Aerospace and TUBITAK Space team under the coordination of the National Defense Ministry.
It can provide digital and geographical data production with the target intelligence needed by the Turkish Armed Forces and the Air Force Command in particular.
The satellite has a high-speed data communication that can download an image of nearly 640-km (397-mi) lane in a single pass.
The Gokturk-2 project aimed to develop technology, expert manpower, and infrastructure for space and satellite systems, and to meet the observation and research needs of public institutions and organizations with national capabilities.
Turkey’s new Turksat 5A satellite launched from US
Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida
SpaceX launched a Turkish communications satellite into orbit late Thursday.
The technology company’s Falcon 9 rocket launched from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the US state of Florida, carrying the Turksat 5A satellite.
The satellite will settle into orbit in four months and start service in the second half of 2021, according to Turkey’s Transport and Infrastructure Ministry, which said the nation’s frequency and orbit rights are guaranteed for the next 30 years.
The mission marks the first launch in 2021 for SpaceX.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Turkish Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Omer Fatih Sayan called Turksat 5A “one of the newest generation satellites that give us the opportunity to improve our capability in space.”
“With Turksat 5A, we would be firstly protecting our orbital rights and we would be providing commercial services by means of broadcasting and communications, especially internet services with the Ku-band to the rural areas,” he told reporters in front of SpaceX’s mission control center in Cape Canaveral.
Sayan said it will take about 140 days for Turksat 5A to enter into its orbit. Then the satellite will be tested for a month. It will be controlled at the Turksat facility in the capital Ankara.
“Built by Airbus Defense and Space with significant Turkish contributions, the Turkish 5A satellite will provide Ku-band television broadcast services over Turkey, the Middle East, Europe and Africa,” according to SpaceX’s website.
The satellite will carry 42 transponders and will be located in an unused Turkish orbital slot at 31 degrees East.
Turkey’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu said last year that new communication satellites, including the Turksat 5A, 5B and 6A, will make the country more powerful in space.
Liftoff was previously planned, but the launch was postponed several times.