Turkey's Turksat 5B satellite launched into space

Turkey's new telecommunication satellite was launched Sunday by US aerospace company SpaceX at 6.59 a.m. Turkish time.

Turksat 5B, which launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the US state of Florida, will reach 42 degrees East orbit in 164 days, then a 45-day test process will begin.

The satellite produced by Airbus and transferred from France to the US on Nov. 29, is the most powerful Turkish satellite and will increase the Ka-Band capacity by more than 15 times.

It will be capable of transmitting data at more than 55 gigabits in total.

Turksat 5B was produced with a contribution from Turkey’s domestic industry.

It is expected to last more than 35 years and has the new generation electric-powered impulsion system.

Besides Turkey, the entire Middle East, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean, North and East Africa, Nigeria, South Africa and neighboring countries will be covered by Turksat 5B.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a video call Thursday with Elon Musk, the founder of Space X, and spoke on the launching process.

Turkey's other satellite, Turksat 5A, was also launched in January by SpaceX.

With Turksat 5B, Turkey currently has eight active satellites.

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