First Turkish-made satellite settles into orbit
The first satellite manufactured in Turkey, created by Istanbul Technical University's (ITU) Space Engineering Department, has settled into orbit around the earth. According to reports, Turkish satellite ITUpSAT1, launched from Sriharikota by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) at 9:21 a.m. local time yesterday on a PSLV C-14 rocket, settled into its orbital path, 720 kilometers above the surface of the earth, at 9:41. The cube-shaped satellite travels at a speed of nearly 7.5 kilometers per second, orbiting the Earth once every 90 minutes. It will take photographs of the Earth's continents. ITUpSAT1 is expected to stay in orbit for six months. Istanbul's Flight and Space Sciences Faculty Dean Fevzi Unal, speaking to reporters from the university's observation lounge where the satellite's launch was broadcast live, said the launch was the fruit of several years' work. The satellite cost $150,000 to make, but along with the infrastructure to make its creation possible and the 60,000 euros for the rocket launch, the entire project cost around 1 million euros, he said. The satellite is to orbit the Earth continually, transmitting data when it passes over Turkey. Unal said they planned to establish contact with the satellite three to four times a day.