Turkey intends to use a self-made rocket engine to send the rover to the moon by the end of this decade, and the engine should undergo a test flight to the moon in 2023.
On Tuesday, Serdar Huseyin Yildirim, chairman of the Turkish Space Agency (TUA), spoke about his space program at the 2021 Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX) in St. Petersburg.
According to Yildirim, the rover should be launched in 2028 or 2029 to land on the moon and conduct research on the lunar surface, writing Spacenet.
The rocket that sent the rover to the moon should be homemade, that is, it will be equipped with an engine currently being developed in Turkey. In order for the authorities to ensure the correctness of the engine, if everything goes according to plan, they will send a prototype rocket to the moon at the end of 2023.
“We intend to reach the moon with our own engine. But in the first phase, through international cooperation, we will bring the spacecraft into the Earth’s low orbit,” Yildirim said.
According to Turkish news agency Anadolu, the mission in 2023 will be a hard landing, which will enable Turkish engineers to collect data for a successful soft landing in the late 2020s.
A hard landing is a landing that causes significant damage to the aircraft and often results in loss of contact. This type of landing can be intentional or planned, but it can also be a failed soft landing attempt.
Turkey also plans to send 30 astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in the next few years to conduct scientific experiments there.
Turkey’s National Space Program released in February this year envisages the establishment of a local space port in Turkey and the development of a domestic regional satellite positioning system. It is not clear how much budget will be used for the space program.
If the spacecraft is successfully sent to the moon, Turkey will join an exclusive club composed of only a few countries that have successfully launched rockets to the moon.
Turkey established the Space Agency in 2018.