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Turkey's space program not yet ready for takeoff

Turkey’s ambitious space program has made some concrete achievements, but Ankara has yet to resolve structural and financial problems snagging development in the sector.
Russian-built Proton-M rocket with the Turksat-4A Turkish communications satellite blasts off at the Russian leased Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome on February 15, 2014.  AFP PHOTO/STRINGER        (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

In a jubilant Twitter message last week, Turkey’s state-owned company Roketsan — the country’s primary rocket and missile manufacturer — announced it had successfully test-launched a sounding rocket into space. “The sounding rocket, which we manufactured with local and national technologies as part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s vision and efforts led by SSB [Defense Industry Presidency], broke through the boundary of space on Oct. 29!” the post read.

The company then shared footage of the test on YouTube. The aim of the 135-kilometer (84-mile) flight into space, launched from the Black Sea province of Sinop, was to test the maneuver control and thrust management systems of the rocket.

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