9/25/2009

First Turkish-made satellite settles into orbit

Dunya - The first satellite manufactured in Turkey, designed by Istanbul Technical University's (ITU) Space Engineering Department, has settled into orbit around the earth. According to reports, the Turkish satellite ITUpSAT1, launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on a PSLV C-14 rocket, settled into its orbital path, 720 kilometers above the surface of the earth. The cube-shaped satellite travels at a speed of nearly 7.5 kilometers per second, orbiting the Earth once every 90 minutes. It will take photographs of the Earth's continents and is expected to remain in orbit for six months. ITU's Flight and Space Sciences Faculty Dean Fevzi Unal, speaking to reporters from the university's observation lounge where the satellite's launch was broadcast live, said the launch is the fruit of several years' work that cost around EUR 1 million. The satellite is to orbit the Earth continually, transmitting data when it passes over Turkey. Unal said they plan to establish contact with the satellite three to four times a day.