On January 18, a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying the Axiom quartet successfully launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket, marking the commencement of Türkiye's inaugural space mission. Türkiye's first astronaut Alper Gezeravcı embarked on this historic mission to the International Space Station (ISS) under the National Space Program, garnering widespread attention throughout Türkiye.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan engaged in a videoconference with Alper Gezeravcı, extending his well-wishes for the success of Türkiye's first manned space mission, a significant milestone in the National Space Program. President Erdoğan commended Gezeravcı for inspiring the Turkish nation, particularly children and youth, with his critical mission.
Highlighting the scientific importance of Türkiye's first manned space mission, President Erdoğan emphasized that the mission contributes to the country's scientific endeavors. The President also expressed optimism that Turkish scientists would play a vital role in scientific contributions that would enrich global scientific literature.
President Erdoğan underscored Türkiye's commitment to advancing technologies and expanding international cooperation in space, adding, “You have been our first-ever astronaut, but obviously you will not be the last. Türkiye has now taken its place among the limited number of countries that have carried out manned space missions. Our journey will continue by growing stronger."
Expressing gratitude for the support, Gezeravcı acknowledged the pride of representing Türkiye on this momentous mission. “I am proud of representing my country in this significant and meaningful mission and of carrying our flag in the ISS as we embark on the Türkiye Century in the centenary of our Republic," Gezeravcı said.
Providing details about the “Turkish Science Mission," Gezeravcı highlighted, “We are now realizing one of our goals in the National Space Program, a vision unveiled to the international arena in 2021. Within the scope of the Turkish Science Mission' spanning 14 days at the ISS, carefully prepared 13 experiments will be conducted. Scientific studies will be carried out in fields such as astronomy, medicine, genetics, and materials science. I hope that those studies will be beneficial for our country and for our scientists."
The four-men crew is set to conduct over 30 scientific studies during their 14-day mission. Gezeravcı will personally oversee 13 studies on behalf of universities and scientific centers in Türkiye in domains such as astronomy, medicine, genetics, and materials science.