Trkiye’s 1st homegrown communications satellite launched successfully

ISTANBUL: Trkiye’s first homegrown communications satellite, Turksat 6A, was successfully launched from the US state of Florida by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.

The launching was realized at 7.30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (2330GMT) on Monday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

After around 35 minutes, the satellite is expected to deploy, according to SpaceX.

The 4.25-ton satellite will operate at the 42 degrees East orbital position and its service life will be 15 years in orbit.

It will cover Trkiye, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia and will serve 4.5 billion people for TV, radio and emergency communications.

– Result of 10 years of work

The project for Turksat 6A has been some 10 years in the making.

Turksat 1C, the successor of the first communications satellite, Turksat 1B, was launched in 1996, followed by Turksat 2A in 2001, Turksat 3A in 2008, Turksat 4A in 2014, Turksat 4B in 2015 and Turksat 5A and 5B in 2021.

Turkish engineers took part in Turksat’s construction of the 4A and
4B satellites as well as in the design, production and testing phases of 5A and 5B.

The indigenous Turksat 6A project was officially launched on Dec. 15, 2014, beginning with the opening of the Space Systems Assembly Integration and Test Center established at Turkish Aerospace Industries facilities in cooperation with Turksat and Trkiye’s Defense Industry Agency.

Turkish-based defense firms, the Turkish Space Agency, Aselsan, C2TECH and Turkish Aerospace Industries together with Turksat and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Trkiye’s Space Technologies Research Institute completed the satellite’s construction.

The preliminary review phase of the craft started in 2015, and the first critical review phase started the next year.

The thermal structural qualification model was completed by 2017, and the second critical review phase began in 2018, while the engineering model satellite’s construction started in 2019 and concluded in 2022.

The craft’s flight model’s initial functional and therm
al vacuum tests were done the same year.

In 2023, Turksat 6A’s flight model vibration and acoustic tests as well as its shock test and fit check were done.

The craft’s tests were officially finalized in 2024, and its mass properties were measured in April, followed by its delivery to the SpaceX facility in Cape Canaveral in the US state of Florida on June 4.

Source: Anadolu Agency