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Turkey to launch two satellites in next three years

07 March 2011 [18:22] - TODAY.AZ
Turkey plans to launch two more communication satellites by 2014, Turkey's transportation minister said on Monday, Anadolu News Agency reported.

Turkey signed a $571 million deal with Japanese technology firm Mitsubishi Electric MELCO to procure and launch Turksat 4A and Turksat 4B. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim said that Turkey also started efforts for production of another satellite, Turksat 5A, by Turkish engineers in a strategic cooperation with the Japanese company.

Currently, Turkey operates two communication satellites, Turksat 2A and Turksat 3A. Last year, another Turkish satellite Turksat 1C had "retired" 14 years after it was launched into space.

Yildirim said Turkey decided to launch new satellites due to rising demand and capacity in Turksat, Turkey's satellite operator. Yildirim said new satellites would help increase Turkey's satellite capacity by three fold.

Yildirim added that the deal would also set the ground for a cooperation between Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Turkish Space Agency, which is expected to be established next year.

Turksat 4A and Turksat 4B will have a lifespan of 30 years. Turkey plans to place Turksat 4A into orbit by the last quarter of 2013. Turksat 4B will be launched in 2014.

Turkey also has plans to launch its first intelligence satellite next year. The spy satellite was named "Gokturk" and it is now under construction by Turkish engineers.


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