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Turkey launches second satellite

20 December 2012

Turkey has launched a second domestically made Earth observation satellite, Göktürk-2 into space from China on Tuesday, a Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) official stated that Turkey will complete its own satellite launching station in the next 10 years.

TÜBİTAK’s Corporate Development Manager Sadık Murat Yüksel, stated that Turkey is among 25 satellite manufacturing countries and that TÜBİTAK is working in co-operation with several other government institutions to construct a domestic satellite launching station.

Göktürk-2 was originally scheduled for launch on Wednesday but was rescheduled to a day earlier due to adverse weather conditions in China. It was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert, near China’s border with Mongolia, at 6:12 p.m. Turkish local time.

Göktürk-2 is the first national Earth observation satellite to be produced by TÜBİTAK and the Turkish Aerospace Industry Corp. (TUSAŞ). According to a written statement from TÜBİTAK, the satellite will operate from approximately 686 kilometers above the Earth. The first images from the satellite should be received between Dec. 25 and 30.

The satellite’s launch in China was aired live in Ankara, where hundreds of people, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, watched the event on large screens. The launch went flawlessly.

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