First tests of Turkey’s indigenous Moon rocket engine successful: Minister

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Turkey has successfully passed the first test of its indigenous engine to be used in a rocket that will be sent to the Moon in 2023.

“We, as a country, have a mission to the Moon, and I think we will succeed the first leg of our long mission in 2023,” said Mustafa Varank, the minister of industry and technology, on April 11.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the country’s mission to the Moon on Feb. 9 in a meeting in the capital Ankara. According to the plan, Turkey wants to send an unmanned spacecraft to Moon’s orbit and make a heavy landing on the Moon in 2023. In the second step of the plan, the country is planning to send an astronaut to space and make a manned mission to the Moon within a decade.

In the scope of the country’s mission, Varank visited the facility of Delta V, a company that produces indigenous rocket engines, in the Şile district of Istanbul at the weekend.

Firstly, he got briefed about the works done for the spacecraft supposed to make a heavy landing on the Moon in 2023.

Then, heading to the command center of the facility, Varank witnessed the first tests of the rocket engine of the spacecraft.

Two tests were done, one for the perpendicular launching system for the SORS rocket that would take the spacecraft to outer space, and the other for a hybrid rocket engine that would be used in the heavy landing.

Both engines, which were tested for around 50 seconds, functioned successfully, the minister said in a statement.

“Delta V is a company that works on hybrid rocket engines and is affiliated with the Presidency of Defence Industries,” Varank said, introducing the company.

“Turkey is a country that wants to show its capabilities to the world, turn these capabilities into trade and have an economical benefit from it in years to come,” he said.

“That is why these technologies we improve are so precious for us,” he added.

The minister also informed the media that the first launch test of the rocket would be made in a month in the Black Sea province of Sinop.

Arif Kocabeyoğlu, the general manager of Delta V, also highlighted the importance of the success of the first tests of the engines.

“We have reached the targeted seconds. Step by step, we will go to the Moon,” he added.

Hurriyet Daily News

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