Turkey is close to signing an agreement with Russia for collaboration in space, which could include sending a Turkish astronaut into space, it was revealed on Tuesday.
Speaking to Russian media, the head of the Turkey’s space agency, Serdar Huseyin Yıldırım, said that “we have plans for signing an agreement in the near future.
“Space exploration is a very complex and costly work. It requires high technologies, and for this reason international cooperation is very important,” he said.
“As far as Russia is concerned, we have vast opportunities in many fields,” he was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency Tass.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced in February that Turkey planned to expand its space program to include sending a rocket to the moon by its centenary year in 2023.
Turkey’s space plans
Russian space agency Roscosmos said in February it expected Turkey to present specific proposals, including plans for a space mission by a Turkish astronaut.
At the time, Erdogan said that Turkey aims to make a rough landing on the moon with a “national and authentic” hybrid rocket by the end of 2023.
He did not provide details of the budget for this supposed program or how the landing would be achieved.
In March, Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said that the country is preparing to fire a unique hybrid rocket into space by the end of summer.
The rocket is being developed and will be blasted off by Delta V, an Istanbul-based space technology firm that is working on an authentic hybrid engine technology.
The launch, which is expected to be made from the Black Sea coast, according to Varank, will mark the most important stage so far as the country prepares for its moon mission in 2023.
“God willing, our Delta V company will fire the rocket that will exceed an altitude of 100 kilometers (62.5 miles), the start of outer space, at the end of the summer,” Varank told Bloomberg in an interview.