Turkey’s new telecommunication satellite was launched on Sunday by US aerospace company SpaceX at 6.59 a.m. Turkish time (0359GMT).
Türksat 5B, which launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the US state of Florida, will reach 42 degrees East orbit in 164 days. Then, a 45-day test process will begin.
The satellite produced by Airbus and transferred from France to the US on Nov. 29, is the most powerful Turkish satellite so far and will increase the Ka-Band capacity by more than 15 times.
It will be capable of transmitting data at more than 55 gigabits in total. Türksat 5B was produced with contributions from Turkey’s domestic industry. It is expected to last more than 35 years and features next-generation electric-powered propulsion system.
Besides Turkey, the entire Middle East, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean, North and East Africa, Nigeria, South Africa, and neighboring countries will be covered by Türksat 5B.
In a video message, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hailed the launch as another “moment of pride for Turkey and the Turkish nation.”
“Today, we launched Türksat 5B, the most powerful and highest-capacity communication satellite of our country, into space. In this satellite project, we also opted for Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket,” he said.
Erdoğan also thanked Elon Musk and his company Space X for not bowing down to “the blackmail and pressure of the anti-Turkey lobbies.”
Underlining that data transmission speed and capacity would increase more than 15 times with the launch of Türksat 5B, Turkish president added: “In this way, broadband satellite internet services will be provided to users within the coverage area, including on land, sea, and air vehicles in regions where internet access is limited.”
The Turkish president had held a video call on Thursday with the founder of Space X and spoke on the launching process.
Another of Turkey’s satellites, Türksat 5A, was also launched by SpaceX in January.
With Türksat 5B, Turkey currently has a total of eight active satellites.
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