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    Turkey unveils space program with mission to moon

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed a 10-year space program on Tuesday. It includes ambitious plans such as sending Turkish astronauts to the moon.

    “The first rough landing will be made on the moon with our national and authentic hybrid rocket that shall be launched into orbit in the end of 2023 through international cooperation,” said Erdogan. “God willing, we are going to the moon,” he added.

    The plan coincides with the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Turkish republic.

    Erdogan also outlined plans to build a spaceport and create a “global brand” in satellite technology.

    “I hope that this roadmap, which will carry Turkey to the top league in the global space race, will come to life successfully,” he said.

    In the space business since 2018

    Turkey started its space agency in 2018, despite criticism over spending large amounts of money on the project amid an economic crisis. However, supporters of the project see it as an opportunity to retain researchers and reduce a brain drain.

    Erdogan didn’t reveal details on the budget for the program or the roadmap. Last month, he spoke to Elon Musk, the chief executive of SpaceX, on cooperating on space technologies with Turkish companies.

    The same month, Turkey launched its Turksat 5A satellite into orbit from the US in cooperation with SpaceX.

    “Our feet will be on earth but our eyes will be in space. Our roots will be on earth, our branches will be up in the sky,” said Erdogan.

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