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NEWS Turkey is Sending Its First Astronaut Into Space

18 Jan 2024

Turkey is sending its first astronaut into space as part of the Ax-3 mission, set to begin on the night of January 18. The journey, initially scheduled for the 17th, was postponed to January 18 due to a parachute error detected in the capsule's landing system. The second countdown for the rescheduled journey has commenced. SpaceX made a flash announcement before the launch, stating, "Pre-launch systems are looking good; conditions are favourable."

The space journey of Turkey's first astronaut, Alper Gezeravcı, is eagerly anticipated. The Ax-3 mission, including Gezeravcı, will be launched into space at 00:49 on the night between January 18 and 19.

SpaceX provided a pre-launch statement, announcing the delay of the Ax-3 mission to January 19, local U.S. time. The statement mentioned, "This additional time will allow the teams to complete pre-flight final checks and analyze data on the vehicle." Officials at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida had previously stated that the launch was postponed to January 18.

Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih Kacır commented on the situation, saying, "The launch, including our first astronaut Alper Gezeravcı, has been postponed to January 18. The targeted launch time is January 19, 2024, at 00:49 (Turkey time). During this time, technical checks before launch are planned to be completed. We will eagerly continue to await the successful completion of Astronaut Alper Gezeravcı's historic mission."

NASA announced the schedule for the Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3) crew, including Turkey's first space traveler, Alper Gezeravcı. According to NASA, the Ax-3 crew will launch the Falcon 9 rocket at 00:49 on January 19 (Florida time), Turkish time, and travel to the International Space Station (ISS) with the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. The team will serve on the ISS for 14 days.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, during a Cabinet Meeting, had a video conference with the first Turkish astronaut to be sent to the International Space Station, Alper Gezeravcı, as part of the National Space Program's first phase, the "first manned space mission." President Erdoğan said, "This mission is very valuable both as a scientific mission and as an inspiration for our children and youth. Hopefully, this will be a new beginning. We will continue the continuation of this mission. We will always aim higher. We wish you and your team success. I hope you complete this mission in good health. May God be your helper. Safe travels."

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