First Turkish astronaut flies to the International Space Station

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First Turkish astronaut flies to the International Space Station

First Turkish astronaut flies to the International Space Station

Alper Gezeravci was the first Turkish citizen to travel into space. The SpaceX capsule with four people on board left the Cape Canaveral Space Center in Florida for the International Space Station on Thursday evening.

A private mission to the International Space Station (ISS) was successfully launched on Thursday, with the participation of a Turkish astronaut and three other astronauts for the first time, the American space agency NASA announced.

The SpaceX capsule launched on a Falcon rocket from the Cape Canaveral Space Center in Florida at 4:49 p.m. local time. The capsule is expected to land on the ISS early Saturday morning, NASA said. The crew is expected to stay in space for two weeks.

First Turkish astronaut flies to the International Space Station

Who are astronauts?

Spanish-born and former NASA astronaut Michael Loper is the mission commander in Algeria. They are joined by Valtroladii from Italy, Marcus Wandt from Sweden and Alper Gezir Aoji from Turkey. This is reported by the private space company Exium. This is evident from a video shared by SpaceX. He spoke to other crew members on board.


“It was an incredible feeling from the end of the countdown to the start of the journey and arriving here,” said Gezire Aoji. “He had dreamed of flying like this for a long time,” he added.

Gezir Aoji will serve as a mission specialist during the trip. On this occasion, there was a festive mood in Turkey. In several cities in Turkey, people gathered around giant screens showing live videos of the launch.

Exim X, the third private mission

The mission is organized by the private space company Exium X and carried out in collaboration with NASA and Elon Musk's company SpaceX.

This is the third such flight in the past two years by Exium, which operates from the US city of Houston. And the mission is billed as “the first European commercial astronaut mission to the International Space Station.” Each seat on the spacecraft costs at least $55 million.

SpaceX said more than 30 science experiments will be conducted during the 14-day mission. These experiments will mainly focus on “human physiology and technological and industrial development.”

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