Turkey's Intelligent Satelitte Successfully Launched by Vega Rocket
Turkey has successfully launched its intelligent satellite aboard the Vega (Vettore Europeo di Generazione Avanzata, Advanced Generation European Carrier Rocket) rocket last December 5. This is reportedly the eighth success for the European light-lift vehicle, the Göktürk-1.
The spacecraft had launched from Europe's Guiana Space Center located in Kourou, French Guiana. The Guana Space Center is a specialized launch facility. This is where all final payload along with launch preparations occur. Such preparations include fueling and pressurizing the AVUM (Attitude Vernier Upper Module) before the launch. It was on Friday, December 2, that the Launch readiness review took place. By then all final launch preparations and the inspections were done.
The Earth-observation satellite was recorded to have separated from the spacecraft approximately 57 minutes into the launch. Where the spacecraft is involved, the Göktürk-1 is the bigger brother of Turkey's other spacecraft, the Göktürk-2. Despite the order of the names, the Göktürk-2 had launched back in December 2012 which was aboard the Chinese Long March 2D.
"Our valued co-operation with Turkey and its aerospace industries, has given life to a modern, efficient Integration Centre in Ankara," stated Donato Amoroso, the deputy CEO of Thales Alenia Space.
Despite the delays and export complications with Turkey's partners, Italy and France, the assembly and integration had made it in time for the contract signing back in July 2009 and its launch on December 2016.
As for the satellite, it was designed to provide impressive high-resolution images for military and civilian applications. Right now, the Turkish Air Force is handling operations of the satellite.
"Turkish Armed Forces will expose all its capacity of image recording with these satellite. I believe we should make greater progress," said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, adding,
"We are now producing our own satellites and not dependent on any parties any more. Because we are encouraged by the obstacles, embargos."
On the other hand, the Vega rocket will make another appearance by March 2017. The spacecraft is part of the Copernicus program Sentinel-2B satellite.