Although Turkey participated in the studies quite late to participate in the space race, studies on space have been on the agenda more frequently in recent years. Although companies such as NASA, SpaceX and Blue Origin come to mind when space is mentioned, our country is also trying to hold the rope of these studies. We explained how Turkey is in the space race, which has been trying to be a more active player in recent years.
What has the Turkish Space Agency done and will it do?
With the announcement made at the end of 2018, it was announced that the Turkish Space Agency was established under the Ministry of Industry and Technology of the Republic of Turkey. Just like NASA, TUA, which is basically a government agency, was evaluated as Turkey’s most serious step in space. The targets announced for TUA in February of 2021 caused a lot of discussion. While the goals of the publicly announced agency were seen as on point by some, they were seen as impossible by others. The goals that have been discussed are as follows:
Hard landing on the Moon in 2023 and a soft landing in 2028
Gathering satellite production under one roof
Establishing a regional positioning and timing system
Build a spaceport to access space independently
Sending a Turkish citizen to space for a scientific mission
To conduct scientific research on Space Weather
Increasing their ability to observe objects in space from the ground
Developing the aerospace industry ecosystem
Developing space awareness in society and raising manpower
Establishing a Space Technologies Development Zone
The agency’s annual budget for 2021 was announced as 38 million Turkish Liras.
The title of the discussions is usually about this budget. Because, while the cost of a hard landing on the moon required a budget of billions of dollars, the fact that TUA’s budget was approximately 3 million dollars was one of the points that created a question mark in the minds. One of the other issues that were discussed apart from the budget was time. Considering that we left 2021 behind, we do not currently see that TUA has announced an activity that will make a hard landing on the Moon next year.
Although there is no date given for every announced target, the ones announced for our country’s infancy in the space industry are promising. The Turkish Space Agency, which is two years old, has not announced a work that will be headlines for a long time.
What do you think about the Turkish Space Agency, Turkey’s horse in the space race? Do you think the stated goals can be met?