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Turkey’s first astronaut in space!

The SpaceX spacecraft, carrying Turkey’s first astronaut Alper Gezeravcı, was successfully launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX’s spacecraft, including Turkey’s first astronaut Alper Gezeravcı, was successfully launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 16.49 pm US local time (00.49 pm PT).The launch, which was followed with excitement all over Turkey, watched the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, which will carry the Dragon capsule to the International Space Station (ISS), on giant screens.

In the Dragon capsule, which started its 36-hour journey to the International Space Station (ISS), the first sentences of the Ax-3 team, including Alper Gezeravcı, in space were broadcast.

Gezeravcı, who became the first Turkish astronaut, started his journey in the spacecraft with the Turkish flag, family photos and objects of Yoruk culture, and his first message was “The genius of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of our Republic of Turkey; The future is in the skies”.

During his time in space, Gezeravcı will conduct 13 different experiments, including projects such as developing an algorithm to test breathing, speaking and coughing sounds in space with artificial intelligence in an environment where there are no other sounds, and examining the effect of radiation exposure on cancer cells in space.

Scheduled for January 17, the space mission was postponed by one day to complete the final checks.

The docking of the Dragon capsule, in which Gezeravcı, who took part in the Ax-3 mission together with Spanish, Italian and Swedish astronauts, to the international space station took place at 13:15 on January 20.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a video conference with Alper Gezeravcı, the first Turkish astronaut to be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the “first manned space mission”, the first leg of the National Space Program: “This mission is very valuable both in terms of its scientific mission and as a source of inspiration for our children and young people. God willing, this will be a new beginning. We will continue this mission. We will always aim higher. We wish you and your teammates success. I wish you to complete this mission in good health. May God be with you and help you. May your path be clear.”

Gezeravcı completed his bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering at Istanbul Air Force Academy. He completed his master’s degree at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Serving as a fighter pilot in the Turkish Air Force, Gezeravcı has 15 years of flight experience in many aircraft, including the F-16. He was also a captain pilot for Turkish Airlines for seven years.