Kourou 05 December 2016 10:59
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.
Telespazio, a Leonardo and Thales 67/33 joint venture, is one of the world’s leading operators in satellite services. Its activities range from the design and development of space systems to the management of launch services, from in-orbit satellite control to Earth observation, from integrated communications, satellite navigation and localisation services to scientific programmes. Telespazio plays a leading role in the reference markets harnessing technological experience acquired over the years. Since its establishment, the company has participated in major European space programmes such as Galileo, EGNOS, Copernicus and COSMO-SkyMed. In 2015, Telespazio generated sales of EUR 632 million while employing approximately 2,500 people in eight countries. www.telespazio.com .
About Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space brings over 40 years of experience to the design, integration, testing and operation of innovative space systems for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo-Finmeccanica (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ “Space Alliance”, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space has built up unrivaled expertise in dual (civil-military) missions, constellations, flexible highthroughput payloads, altimetry, meteorology, and high-resolution radar and optical observation, as well as space exploration. The company capitalizes on its strong legacy, while also making innovation a key to its strategy. By offering a continuous stream of new products and expanding its global footprint, Thales Alenia Space has established its leadership in today’s fast-evolving space sector. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues exceeding 2.1 billion euros in 2015 and has 7,500 employees in nine countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com