SpaceX launches Turkey’s first home-grown communication satellite

Liftoff of Turkey's home-grown communication satellite, Turksat 6A, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida
Liftoff of Turkey’s home-grown communication satellite, Turksat 6A, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida. (Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX, an US private aerospace company owned by Elon Musk, successfully launched Turkey’s first indigenously built communication satellite, Turksat 6A.

The satellite was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX at 7:30 p.m. EDT (23:30 UTC) on July 8, 2024, from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

The rocket successfully delivered the satellite in a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) about 35 minutes after liftoff.

And the first signal from the satellite was received about 67 minutes after liftoff, mission operators confirmed in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Turkey's home-grown communication satellite, Turksat 6A, inside a capsule
Turkey’s home-grown communication satellite, Turksat 6A, inside a capsule. (Image credit: via X)

Now the 4,220 kg satellite, Turksat 6A, will use its own propulsion system to reach its final destination, the geostationary orbit.

The geostationary orbit is located 35,786 km (22,236 miles) above the Earth’s surface, where most of the communications and weather satellites are placed.

A satellite placed in a geostationary orbit takes 24 hours to orbit the earth, which is equal to the rotation of the earth around its own axis. So the satellite remains stationary relative to the earth’s surface and can watch a particular location on earth all the time. This is the advantage of a geostationary orbit.

The satellite will be placed at 42° E in geostationary orbit with an expected lifetime of 16 years, from where it will provide satellite coverage and television broadcasting to Turkey, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

It is a proud moment for Turkey as the satellite is finally launched after a decade of hard work by Turkish scientists.

With this successful launch, Turkey becomes one of the 11 countries to operate its own communication satellite. 

Here is the list of Turkey’s communication satellites that are operating in orbit:

Satellite nameManufacturer and CountryLaunch dateLifetime
Turksat 3AThales Alenia Space (France)June 3, 200820 years
Turksat 4AMitsubishi Electric Corporation (Japan)February 14, 201430 years
Turksat 4BMitsubishi Electric Corporation (Japan)October 16, 201530 years
Turksat 5AAirbus Defence and Space (Germany)January 7, 202131 years
Turksat 5BAirbus Defence and Space (Germany)December 19, 202137 years
Turksat 6ATUBITAK UZAY (Turkey) July 8, 202416 years

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Ashim

Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of spaceandtelescope.com.

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