Turkey is negotiating with three countries on the construction of a spacecraft on the territory of one of them, Turkish Space Agency President Serdar Huseyin Yildirim said.
“We hold meetings with countries … There are only three of them,” he said at the Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX) in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.
Even though Yildirim did not name the countries, but specified that the spaceport should be on the seashore and be close to the equator.
He also explained that the spaceport would be used for commercial launches, so Turkey plans to cooperate with other countries, including Russia, to jointly develop a launch rocket for low-Earth orbit with a payload capacity from two to four tonnes.
“We are not yet at the level [to build such spacecraft independently]. Of course, we are working on this, but for now, we will need international cooperation. In this regard, Russia could become a good partner. In the course of our negotiations, we also discuss this,” Yildirim said.
However, according to him, by 2029, when the Turkish spacecraft is expected to depart for the Moon, the country will already have had the technology to independently produce such a rocket.
In early 2021, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented the national space program. He proposed sending the country’s first citizen into space, building its own spaceport, and sending a lander to the Moon at the end of 2023.
GLEX is an annual event that gathers representatives of scientific circles, governments, and industries since 2012. This year’s edition started on Monday in St. Petersburg and will end on Friday.