Lunar Research Program Project - 1 (AYAP-1):
In scope of the National Space Program planned by the Turkish Space Agency with the contributions of the actors in the space industry, the 10-year plan and objectives of Türkiye were determined. The very first of the 10 programs announced in this regard is the two-stage Lunar Research Program (AYAP) where Türkiye aims to become one of the few countries to have presence on the Moon. At the initial stage (AYAP-1), making the first contact with the moon by hard landing is aimed and at the second stage soft landing on the moon (AYAP-2) is intended.
As Türkiye’s rapid development in the field of space technologies continues, the first project under the Lunar Research Program will be carried out to expand the boundaries of existing capabilities and become an important actor in the international arena. Within the scope of the Lunar Research Program (AYAP-1), TÜBİTAK UZAY will be in charge of design, development, integration, test, launch and operations of the spacecraft as the project managing organization. TÜBİTAK UZAY aims to achieve success by putting into use its project management, space systems engineering, proven R&D capability, equipment/software development, subsystem production, system integration, space environment testing and spacecraft operation capabilities. In addition, DELTAV Space Technologies Inc., the leading company for hybrid propulsion systems development will utilize its experience to deliver a system suitable for spacecraft utilization.
With the AYAP-1 project, it is aimed that Türkiye will successfully carry out its first lunar mission and become one of the few countries that can conduct activities on the Moon with its own capabilities. It is also aimed to have the first national space engine with hybrid technology to be marketed internationally, develop indigenous systems gaining deep space heritage, develop an important capability for peaceful exploration of the Moon as well as to foster international collaboration.
The project was officially begun on 15 December 2021 and operational concept, mission design and functional architecture definitions have been completed to this day. With this, the preliminary design phase of the first mission has been concluded. AYAP-1 system and related technologies to be developed within the scope of the project, the scientific and operational data to be collected and the mission operations experience to be gained from the first phase will form the basis for the soft landing mission targeted for soft landing in the second phase.