The new Turkish communications satellite Turksat 5A has launched into orbit from the U.S. on late Thursday, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported.
SpaceX technology company’s Falcon 9 rocket launched from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the U.S. state of Florida, carrying the Turksat 5A satellite.
The satellite will settle into orbit in four months and start service in the second half of 2021, according to Turkey’s Transport and Infrastructure Ministry, which said the nation’s frequency and orbit rights are guaranteed for the next 30 years.
The mission marks the first launch in 2021 for SpaceX.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Turkish Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Omer Fatih Sayan said, “Turksat 5A is one of the newest generation satellites that allow Turkey to improve its capability in space.”
He said it would take about 140 days for Turksat 5A to enter into its orbit. He added that the satellite would be tested for a month, controlling from the Turksat facility in the capital Ankara.
“Built by Airbus Defense and Space with significant Turkish contributions, the Turkish 5A satellite will provide Ku-band television broadcast services over Turkey, the Middle East, Europe and Africa,” according to SpaceX’s website.