Space, rocket launch to the Moon

Turkey to build its space launch centre in Africa

Some media affirm that Turkey could build its space centre in Somalia due to its good location to launch rockets into space.

Turkey could build its space launch centre, with a planned investment of 350 million dollars (about 290 million euros), in Africa, specifically in Somalia: from here rockets would be launched into Earth orbit and for missions into space, including the one that aims to reach the Moon in 2023.

The project, which is part of the Turkish space program announced this month by President Erdoğan and which includes projects for the next 10 years with a total investment of more than 1 billion dollars, would have to be carried out outside of Turkey because its geographical position is not suitable for launching rockets into Earth’s orbit, as the Turkish president himself explained during the presentation of the Milli Uzay Programı (National Space Program).

“Our first objective is to land on the Moon in 2023, for the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey,” Erdoğan explained on February 9th when he also announced the creation of the Turkish Space Agency (Türk Uzay Ajansı, or TUA), with which Turkey – which has its own satellite manufacturing centre – wants to compete in the international market for space and satellite technology, also developing its own launch rockets.

During his speech, in addition to plans to send a mission to the Moon, the Turkish president also announced that in the coming years a Turkish astronaut will be sent into space, possibly with the collaboration of Russia in the project; this astronaut will be chosen from three possible candidates after a rigorous selection process and after going through two years of hard training and education.

According to information published in various media, citing anonymous sources related to the Turkish space program, the choice of Africa and specifically Somalia to build the space launch centre would be in line with the growing investments in this country in the Horn of Africa, which also is home to the largest Turkish military base outside Turkey and has for years relied heavily on humanitarian aid from Turkey.