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Axiom Space Signs Historic Agreement with Türkiye to Send First Turkish Astronaut to Space

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
September 19, 2022
Signing ceremony for Turkish astronaut to fly on Axiom mission. (Credit: Axiom Space)

PARIS (Axiom Space PR) — Commercial space leader Axiom Space and the government of Türkiye have signed a historic agreement to send the first Turkish astronaut to space. As part of a larger effort by Türkiye to expand its space exploration capabilities and establish a national human space program, a Turkish astronaut will be trained by Axiom Space for a future space research mission. Axiom Space will also enable Turkish science and research to be conducted in microgravity.  

Axiom Space, a U.S. based commercial space company, currently building the world’s first commercial space station, is working with the TÜBİTAK Space Technologies Research Institute (TÜBİTAK UZAY) , under the direction of the Turkish Space Agency, Türkiye Uzay Ajansı (TUA) to enable this effort. The spaceflight agreement was officially signed at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Paris, on 19 September 2022, with Axiom Space CEO Michael Suffredini, Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology of the Republic of Turkey Mehmet Fatih Kacır, TUA President and Chairman of the Board Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım, TÜBITAK UZAY Director Dr. Mesut Gökten, and other dignitaries. 

“As the 100-year anniversary of Türkiye approaches, we will celebrate this important milestone by working to send the first Turkish astronaut to space,” said Dr. Mesut Gökten.  “This mission is a part of Türkiye’s ambitious 10-year space road map, which includes missions to the low-Earth orbit and the Moon as well as developing internationally viable satellite systems.” said Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım. 

The astronaut selection process is being managed by TÜBITAK UZAY with support of Axiom Space, under the direction of the Turkish Space Agency on behalf of the Turkish government. Türkiye is evaluating scientific experiments via an open solicitation for on-orbit research. Further discussion between Türkiye and Axiom Space is underway to finalize the timeline for the mission.  

“Exploration is part of the human DNA and with this agreement between Axiom Space and the nation of Türkiye, we will train and fly the first Turkish astronaut and strengthen our commitment to use commercial space as a driver to expand the international community of space explorers,” said Michael Suffredini, Axiom Space’s President & CEO. “We are excited about Türkiye’s role as a partner in commercial space and look forward to deepening this relationship as we work together to expand scientific and technological development on Earth and in orbit.”  

Axiom Space is the commercial space industry’s only full-service orbital mission provider, conducting end-to-end crewed missions.  Axiom’s broad range of services include training and flying private astronauts, access to training facilitates and instructors, hardware and safety certification, and operational on-orbit management.  Candidates for flight complete Axiom’s rigorous training curriculum over many months in preparation to live and conduct meaningful work in space. The expert team at Axiom Space is helping nations and organizations build human spaceflight programs, develop astronaut selection programs, and provide the expertise needed to expand the international community of space explorers to a larger and more diverse representation of humanity.  

This partnership is the latest agreement between Axiom Space and a sovereign nation that will expand international human spaceflight capabilities. Previous signatories include Italy, Hungary, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  

 About Axiom Space

Axiom Space is guided by the vision of a thriving home in space that benefits every human, everywhere. The leading provider of human spaceflight services and developer of human-rated space infrastructure, Axiom operates end-to-end missions to the International Space Station today while privately building its successor, Axiom Station, the first permanent commercial destination in Earth’s orbit that will sustain human growth off the planet and bring untold benefits back home.

5 responses to “Axiom Space Signs Historic Agreement with Türkiye to Send First Turkish Astronaut to Space”

  1. Andrew Tubbiolo says:

    Congratulations Axiom! Well done.

    • duheagle says:

      As Axiom casts its net more and more widely, the toughest part of mission planning is going to be settling on menus. So an Italian, a Hungarian, an Arab and a Turk walk into a space station…

      • Andrew Tubbiolo says:

        This is a great business model. Give a nation a easy first mission to space for pure nationalistic reasons. It’s an entry drug to do more. I’m working on some concepts for man tended science projects to use on missions like what Axiom promises to pursue myself after I retire. The “payload plug” used on Inspiration 4 offers some real capability for space based science without the ultra complication of having nobody around to tend to things. These manned single mission capsules have some real promise I think.

  2. lopan says:

    Axiom is delivering on the promise that Space Adventures ultimately failed. Let’s hope it keeps going like this.

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