Türkiye's Second Astronaut Tuva Cihangir Atasever Completes Suborbital Research Flight

Turkey's Second Astronaut Tuva Cihangir-img
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Türkiye's second astronaut, Tuva Cihangir Atasever, completed the Suborbital Research Flight as part of the Turkish Space Science Mission Project with Virgin Galactic's "VSS Unity" suborbital vehicle. The aircraft took off from the Spaceport facility in New Mexico at 08:30 local time (17:30 Turkish time). The "Galactic 07" crew, including Atasever, advanced towards the "VSS Unity" suborbital vehicle after bidding farewell to their families amidst applause.

Among those seeing off Atasever were many officials, including Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology Prof. Dr. Ahmet Yozgatlıgil, and project team members. The crew, which included Atasever as a research astronaut, consisted of two private astronauts from the USA and one from Italy. During the approximately 1 hour and 10-minute flight, the "VSS Unity" suborbital vehicle reached an altitude of 45,000 feet with its carrier aircraft and ignited its hybrid rocket motor to achieve an altitude of about 90 kilometers.

Mr. Atasever successfully conducted seven scientific experiments during the approximately 3-minute free-fall phase in the microgravity environment. In a statement after the flight, Atasever said, "Our flight was quite successful. From a scientific experiments perspective, we achieved all our goals." Atasever also pointed to the keffiyeh he carried during the space journey, saying, "The suffering of the Palestinian people is a situation that the beauty of our world does not deserve. I carried the keffiyeh to symbolize this."

Special Broadcast Heldn Gerrealized

Simultaneously with the Suborbital Research Flight, a special broadcast was held at TÜBİTAK Science High School on the TÜBİTAK Gebze Campus. The broadcast, moderated by Dr. Sadık Murat Yüksel and Can Bayraktar from TÜBİTAK UZAY Business Development and External Relations Group, featured Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih Kacır, President of TÜBİTAK Prof. Dr. Hasan Mandal, President of the Turkish Space Agency Yusuf Kıraç, and Türkiye's first astronaut Alper Gezeravcı. The broadcast was watched live on TÜBİTAK's YouTube channel and from various science centers in Türkiye.

We watched this exciting journey with great enthusiasm, closely followed by our team at TÜBİTAK UZAY and our friends at Spaceport America. Our Project Team at Spaceport America meticulously observed the pre-flight preparations. Both teams expressed their deep pride and happiness in being part of this historic moment as they witnessed the successful flight of our astronaut Tuva Cihangir Atasever.

"Tuva Cihangir Atasever Will Contribute to the Process with 7 Scientific Experiments

Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih Kacır assessed the seven scientific experiments conducted by Turkey's second astronaut, Tuva Cihangir Atasever, in space, stating, "We will witness and accomplish many missions together. Atasever conducted significant experiments on human biology and physiology. These experiments will examine the effects of space conditions on the human body. Additionally, projects such as the use of radiation dosimetry in space and the examination of blood circulation in the brain were also carried out," he said.

Minister Kacır emphasized that Türkiye is a country developing satellite systems, noting that space research represents a large economy. He mentioned Türkiye's success in satellite development activities, highlighting that domestic and national satellites IMECE and TÜRKSAT 6A are significant parts of this success.

President of TÜBİTAK Prof. Dr. Hasan Mandal: "Türkiye's Space Journey Continues"

President of TÜBİTAK Prof. Dr. Hasan Mandal emphasized the importance of Türkiye's space journey, stating that young people have great responsibilities. Mr. Mandal noted that the space journey ensures Türkiye's prominence in the field of technology.

He mentioned that they have been experiencing many firsts in the space field since last year, from the IMECE satellite to Alper Gezeravcı's first manned space mission. He also reminded that TÜRKSAT 6A was sent to the USA on June 4 for launch and that the launch is scheduled for the week of July 8.

Türkiye's First Astronaut Alper Gezeravcı was at TÜBİTAK Science High School

Türkiye's first astronaut, Alper Gezeravcı, met with students at TÜBİTAK Science High School before the special broadcast, answering their questions. During the special broadcast of the suborbital flight, he shared his experiences from his mission.

Seven Scientific Experiments Conducted

Atasever collected significant data in the microgravity environment through seven scientific experiments conducted during the flight. These experiments included the BEACON brain imaging, IvmeRad radiation dosimetry, and testing an insulin pen in space. Additionally, projects such as the analysis of extracellular vesicles and the continuation of other scientific experiments from Gezeravcı's mission were carried out.

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