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December 4th, 2017

Project BURAK for Development of Domestic Satellite Capabilities Initiated by Turkey

The Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications is preparing to execute the Space Probe Rocket and Launch System Project (BURAK) — this project, which will start in 2018, will end Turkey's dependence on external satellite launching operations.

The Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, which took action to launch Turkey's own satellites, recently started project BURAK. With the project, satellite launching systems and technologies will be domestically developed. The aim is to develop the technology needed for space projects and to create a space enterprise envisaged in accordance with Turkey's 2023 goals. Moreover, placing Turkey among countries that have access to space independently is also a primary goal.

In the meantime, starting the project in 2018 takes into account the strategic importance of having launch technologies to contribute to Turkey's development. Satellite engine and propulsion systems, the most important sub-components of satellites, are supplied from abroad. Thus, the Satellite Propulsion System Development Project (ÜMÄ°T) aims to develop satellite propulsion systems domestically. These systems will be used in the communication and observation satellites produced by Turkey and will reduce external dependence. The ministry aims to complete the project by 2023.

The ministry is developing satellite-space technologies. A deal was signed with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in this regard. In the scope of this cooperation, testing and auditing processes have been initiated on the Japanese Experiment Module (KIBO) on the International Space Station (ISS) to enable the space qualification of materials to be used to develop satellite and space technologies.

Equipment developed in Turkey to be used for national satellites was sent to the ISS at the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan at the end of 2016. In April 2017, tests were initiated in open space.

The equipment will be brought back to Turkey in 2018, and the test results will be evaluated. The communication-purposed experimental smallsat developed by the Directorate General of Aeronautics and Space Technologies of the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications and Istanbul Technical University (ITU) will be deployed from the KIBO module and placed into orbit this year or early 2018.

Article sourced from Daily Sabah.