RASAT is on the way to launch!

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RASAT, the first earth observation satellite designed and manufactured in Turkey, is transported to Russian Federation for launch. RASAT is designed, manufactured and tested by TUBITAK Space Technologies Research Institute (TUBITAK UZAY), with funding from Turkish State Planning Office (DPT).

RASAT project enabled development of satellite design, manufacturing and test capabilities of TUBITAK UZAY. The experience and capabilities that TUBITAK UZAY and Turkish engineers gained, pioneered Turkey to new satellite projects, to reach the targets in space technologies.  In this aspect, the basic targets of RASAT are already met.

RASAT satellite, which is wholly designed, manufactured and tested by Turkish engineers and technicians in TUBITAK UZAY facilities, took off for Yasny Launch Base in Russian Federation on June 14th, and reached to the city of Ulyanovsk for customs procedures. 

In the launch which is planned to take place in July 2011, satellites from five different countries, namely UK, USA, Italy, Nigeria and Ukraine) will be lofted to low earth orbit together with RASAT. The launch will be performed by Dnepr launch vehicle, which is a converted SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missile, among the most reliable rockets. The launch campaign, which RASAT will participate, will be Dnepr’s 17th commercial launch.

RASAT is developed to demonstrate satellite design, manufacturing, test and operation capabilities of TUBITAK UZAY and hence Turkey, serve as a test-bed for Turkish home-grown space hardware and software designed and developed by Turkish engineers and technicians, and to gather optical satellite images.

RASAT is operationally and structurally confirmed to be ready for launch, by TUBITAK UZAY and the launch vehicle manufacturer, in 2010 by the tests performed in launch vehicle manufacturer’s facilities, in Ukraine. Thus, the basic targets of development of capabilities for designing, manufacturing and testing regarding satellite technologies and enhancing experiences and capabilities for Turkish engineers and specifically TUBITAK UZAY are already met.

Injection of RASAT to the target orbit and successful trial of the space systems developed by TUBITAK UZAY, will provide not only heritage but also serve as basis for the upcoming satellite programs. Additionally, the optical images gathered by RASAT is planned to be used for city planning, forestry, agriculture, disaster management and similar purposes.