Successful launch of Turksat 6A is a satcoms first for Turkey 

Successful launch of Turksat 6A is a satcoms first for Turkey 

Turkey launched its first domestically produced communications satellite, Turksat 6A, into orbit early this week, widening the country's satellite coverage and meeting its television broadcasting needs.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried the satellite into space from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, United States.

The Türksat 6A satellite is now in a highly elliptical ‘transfer’ orbit but CBS News explains that the satellite's onboard thrusters will be used in the coming days to circularise the orbit 22,300 miles (a little under 35,900 kilometres) above the equator at 42 degrees east longitude. At that altitude, CBS explains, satellites take 24 hours to complete one orbit and appear stationary in the sky, allowing the use of fixed ground antennas on the ground.

Türksat 6A, operated by state-owned satellite operator Türksat AȘ, is equipped with 16 Ku-band transponders, along with four held in reserve. It is also equipped with two active X-band transponders and one spare. Those three are reserved for domestic Turkish use while the Ku-band transponders will support commercial services.

As well as improving Turkey’s own communications and television broadcasts Turksat 6A allows the country to reach India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has been widely quoted as saying that the launch marks the opening of a "new phase" for Turkey in satellite production, pointing out that more than 81% of the subsystems, satellite ground stations and software in the 6A project have been produced by Turkey with national resources.

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloglu has added that the Turksat 6A was the result of a ten-year effort to domestically produce a satellite, making Turkey became one of 11 countries to have done so.

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