The GÖKTÜRK-1 satellite launched successfully

Kourou  05 December 2016

The Turkish Earth observation satellite GÖKTÜRK-1 was successfully launched at 10:51 (local time), at 14:51 CET. The launch was carried out by Arianespace from the European spaceport in Kourou, in French Guiana, with the European VEGA launcher

After the separation of the satellite from the rocket 57 minutes after launch, the early orbit and satellite testing phase began, managed by the Fucino Space Centre of Telespazio, a joint venture between Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%). The first telemetry signal was acquired by the Fucino 68 minutes after launch.

The GÖKTÜRK-1 programme was built by Telespazio as prime contractor, and Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo-Finmeccanica (33%), for the Undersecretariat for the Turkey Defence Industry (SSM, Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarlığı), together with local industrial partners including Tai AS, Aselsan AS, Tubitak Bilgem, Roketsan AS and TR Tecnoloji. The system will be operated by the Turkish Air Force.

Luigi Pasquali, CEO of Telespazio, said: "Telespazio is proud to have made possible the success of this mission. GÖKTÜRK-1 is the result of collaboration between Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space and is a satellite system that guarantees the End User remarkable performance in terms of quantity and quality of the images. I would like to take this opportunity to thank SSM and the Turkish Air Force for the great spirit of cooperation they have shown in this project, as well as the industrial team that contributed to its implementation.”

“The success of this launch - stated Donato Amoroso Deputy CEO Thales Alenia Space, SEVP Observation, Exploration and Navigation - represents the achievement by our company of a great goal that consolidates over 30 years' experience that Thales Alenia Space has gained in the construction of satellite-based optical and radar instruments for Earth observation. Last but not least, our valued co-operation with Turkey and its aerospace industries, has given life to a modern, efficient Integration Centre in Ankara”.

Telespazio created the ground segment, including the capabilities of mission control, in-orbit satellite management, and the acquisition and data processing systems. The company is also responsible for the launch, entry into orbit and test services.

Thales Alenia Space created the observation satellite equipped with a high-resolution optical sensor and created an integration and satellite testing centre at Ankara, inaugurated in 2015, as an infrastructure that can integrate various satellites simultaneously.

The European VEGA launcher, designed, developed and built in Italy by AVIO through its subsidiary ELV (30% held by the ISA), was selected for the launch of GÖKTÜRK-1.

The Göktürk-1 satellite has a mass of approximately 1000 kg and a service life of seven years. Its observation payload includes a high-resolution optical instrument and an onboard digital imaging storage system to handle data compression, archiving and downloading. The satellite will be positioned in a Sun-synchronous orbit, at an altitude of approximately 700 km.

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