SpaceX to Launch Turkey’s First Domestically Built Communications Satellite

Falcon 9 launches the Turksat 5A satellite. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

Space X will launch Turkey’s first domestically produced communications satellite, Turksat 6A, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu announced in a press release. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Turkish engineers will complete assembly, integration and testing of the Turksat 6A by the end of 2022, Karaismailoglu said. The launch will occur in the first quarter of 2023 from Florida.

The satellite will be operated by Turksat S.A., which is the nation’s only communications satellite operator.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 launched the Turksat 5A communications satellite in January from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. SpaceX is scheduled to launch Turksat 5B during the fourth quarter of this year. Airbus Defence and Space built both satellites.

Quarterly Launch Report: US in the Lead Thanks to SpaceX

A Falcon 9 lifts off with 60 Starlink satellites on March 11, 2021. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

There were 27 orbital launch attempts with 26 successes and one failure during the first quarter of 2021. The United States accounted for nearly half the total with 13 launches behind nine flights by SpaceX.


SpaceX Plans First Launch of Year for Thursday Night

Falcon 9 launches the NROL-108 mission on Dec. 19, 2020. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Thursday, January 7 for launch of the Turksat 5A mission from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The four-hour launch window opens at 8:28 p.m. EST, or 01:28 UTC on January 8, and a back-up opportunity is available on Friday, January 8, with a four-hour launch window opening at 8:28 p.m. EST, or 01:28 UTC on January 9.

Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously supported launch of GPS III Space Vehicle 03 and two Starlink missions. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the Just Read the Instructions droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Falcon 9’s fairing is also flight-proven: one half previously supported the GPS III Space Vehicle 03 mission and the other flew aboard the ANASIS-II mission.

You can watch a live webcast of this mission, which will begin about 15 minutes prior to liftoff, above.